Ammonia, nitrous oxide, carbon dioxide, and water vapor fluxes after green manuring of faba bean under Mediterranean climate

Angelo Finco, Riccardo Marzuoli, Giacomo Alessandro Gerosa, Rossana Monica Ferrara, Marco Carozzi, Céline Decuq, Benjamin Loubet, Paul Di Tommasi, Vincenzo Magliulo, Gianfranco Rana

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Green manuring of legume crops has increased in interest in recent years because of environmental and economic costs of synthetic fertilizers and need of sustainable cropping systems. Climatic conditions can reduce the agronomic and environmental effectiveness of green manuring promoting reactive nitrogen losses, or fostering soil heterotrophic respiration. This study aims to quantify ammonia and nitrous oxide losses, as well as carbon dioxide exchanges following green manuring of faba bean (Vicia faba spp. minor L.) under semi-arid climate conditions, typical of the Mediterranean basin. Ammonia emissions were measured by means of an aerodynamic gradient approach equipped with a multi-channel wet-denuder system (ROSAA), alongside with a concentration- based inverse dispersion modelling assessment. Nitrous oxide losses were measured with an automated chamber system, whereas carbon dioxide and water vapor exchanges were monitored jointly by means of eddy covariance technique. Ammonia volatilization lasted for three weeks and was triggered by the increase of soil water content due to rainfall, occurring 5 days after green manuring. Total emissions were 0.31% of the nitrogen supplied by green manuring (230 kg N ha− 1). Nitrous oxide emissions from soil were of low intensity during the measure- ment period and were directly corelated to the water filled pore space. The biogeochemical model CERES-EGC was validated with the measurements of nitrous oxide, then used to reproduce the dynamic until the sowing of the succeeding crop. Cumulated emissions of nitrous oxide were 1% of the total nitrogen supplied. Soil became a net source both of carbon dioxide and water vapor soon after green manuring, with an emission of 900 kg C-CO2 ha− 1 by heterotrophic respiration (23% of added carbon). In terms of water balance, 19 mm of water evaporated from soil surface, originated from the addition of fresh biomass. Green manuring proved to be a significant agronomic strategy to improve soil fertility, limiting reactive nitrogen and carbon losses to the atmosphere.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)N/A-N/A
Number of pages107439
JournalAGRICULTURE, ECOSYSTEMS & ENVIRONMENT
Volume2021
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2021

Keywords

  • Aerodynamic gradient method
  • Ammonia volatilization
  • Automatic chambers
  • Eddy covariance
  • Semi-arid climate

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