Source partitioning using N2O isotopomers and soil WFPS to establish dominant N2O production pathways from different pasture sward compositions
AuthorBracken, Conor J.
Lanigan, Gary J.
Richards, Karl G.
Tracy, Saoirse R.
Krol, Dominika J.
Lynch, Mary Bridget
Murphy, Paul N.C.
Perennial ryegrass (Lolium perenne)
White clover (Trifolium repens)
Ribwort plantain (Plantago lanceolata)
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CitationConor J. Bracken, Gary J. Lanigan, Karl G. Richards, Christoph Müller, Saoirse R. Tracy, James Grant, Dominika J. Krol, Helen Sheridan, Mary Bridget Lynch, Cornelia Grace, Rochelle Fritch, Paul N.C. Murphy, Source partitioning using N2O isotopomers and soil WFPS to establish dominant N2O production pathways from different pasture sward compositions, Science of The Total Environment, Volume 781, 2021, 146515, ISSN 0048-9697, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2021.146515.
AbstractNitrous oxide (N2O) is a potent greenhouse gas (GHG) emitted from agricultural soils and is influenced by nitrogen (N) fertiliser management and weather and soil conditions. Source partitioning N2O emissions related to management practices and soil conditions could suggest effective mitigation strategies. Multispecies swards can maintain herbage yields at reduced N fertiliser rates compared to grass monocultures and may reduce N losses to the wider environment. A restricted-simplex centroid experiment was used to measure daily N2O fluxes and associated isotopomers from eight experimental plots (7.8 m2) post a urea-N fertiliser application (40 kg N ha−1). Experimental pastures consisted of differing proportions of grass, legume and forage herb represented by perennial ryegrass (Lolium perenne), white clover (Trifolium repens) and ribwort plantain (Plantago lanceolata), respectively. N2O isotopomers were measured using a cavity ring down spectroscopy (CRDS) instrument adapted with a small sample isotope module (SSIM) for the analysis of gas samples ≤20 mL. Site preference (SP = δ15Nα – δ15Nβ) and δ15Nbulk ((δ15Nα + δ15Nβ) / 2) values were used to attribute N2O production to nitrification, denitrification or a mixture of both nitrification and denitrification over a range of soil WFPS (%). Daily N2O fluxes ranged from 8.26 to 86.86 g N2O-N ha−1 d−1. Overall, 34.2% of daily N2O fluxes were attributed to nitrification, 29.0% to denitrification and 36.8% to a mixture of both. A significant diversity effect of white clover and ribwort plantain on predicted SP and δ15Nbulk indicated that the inclusion of ribwort plantain may decrease N2O emission through biological nitrification inhibition under drier soil conditions (31%–75% WFPS). Likewise, a sharp decline in predicted SP indicates that increased white clover content could increase N2O emissions associated with denitrification under elevated soil moisture conditions (43%–77% WFPS). Biological nitrification inhibition from ribwort plantain inclusion in grassland swards and management of N fertiliser source and application timing to match soil moisture conditions could be useful N2O mitigation strategies.
FunderTeagasc Walsh Fellowship; UCD Seed Funding Scheme; Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine
Grant Number2016075; 42767; RSF 11/S/147: Smartgrass
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