Assessing the combined use of reduced tillage and cover crops for mitigating greenhouse gas emissions from arable ecosystem

M Abdalla, A Hastings, M Helmy, A Prescher, B Osbourne, G Lanigan, D Forristal, D Killi, P Maratha, M Williams, K Rueangritsarakul, P Smith, P Nolan, M B Jones

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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Abstract

Field management activities have significant impacts on greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from cropland soils. In this study, the effectiveness of combining reduced tillage with a mustard cover crop (RT–CC) to mitigate present and future GHG emissions from a fertilized spring barley field in the southeast of Ireland was assessed. The field site which had a free-draining sandy loam soil with low soil moisture holding capacity, had been managed for three years prior to measurements under two different tillage systems; conventional (CT) and RT–CC. Field measurements of soil CO2, N2O and CH4 emissions, crop biomass, water filled pore space (WFPS), soil temperature and soil nitrate were made to capture both steady state conditions as well as the management events. Field data were used to validate the DNDC (DeNitrification–DeComposition) model and future GHG emissions under two sets of climate projections were predicted. Although fertilizer use was the same for both treatments the
RT–CC treatment had significantly (p b 0.05) higherN2O emissions for both present and future climate. However, the inclusion of a cover crop with the RT treatment increased predicted soil organic carbon (SOC), which more than compensated for the higher N2O flux resulting in a lower total GHG balance (TGGB) compared with the CT treatment. Results show that the effectiveness of RT–CC in mitigating GHG emissions will depend crucially on the magnitude of compensatory increases in carbon dioxide uptake by the cover crop that will contribute to a reduction in the total GHG balance.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)9-20
Number of pages12
JournalGeoderma
Volume223-225
Early online date25 Feb 2014
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2014

Keywords

  • reduced tillage
  • conventional tillage
  • cover crop
  • DNDC model
  • greenhouse gas emissions
  • future climate

Cite this

Assessing the combined use of reduced tillage and cover crops for mitigating greenhouse gas emissions from arable ecosystem. / Abdalla, M; Hastings, A; Helmy, M; Prescher, A; Osbourne, B ; Lanigan, G; Forristal, D ; Killi, D; Maratha, P; Williams, M ; Rueangritsarakul, K; Smith, P; Nolan, P; Jones, M B.

In: Geoderma, Vol. 223-225, 07.2014, p. 9-20.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abdalla, M, Hastings, A, Helmy, M, Prescher, A, Osbourne, B, Lanigan, G, Forristal, D, Killi, D, Maratha, P, Williams, M, Rueangritsarakul, K, Smith, P, Nolan, P & Jones, MB 2014, 'Assessing the combined use of reduced tillage and cover crops for mitigating greenhouse gas emissions from arable ecosystem', Geoderma, vol. 223-225, pp. 9-20. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.geoderma.2014.01.030
Abdalla, M ; Hastings, A ; Helmy, M ; Prescher, A ; Osbourne, B ; Lanigan, G ; Forristal, D ; Killi, D ; Maratha, P ; Williams, M ; Rueangritsarakul, K ; Smith, P ; Nolan, P ; Jones, M B. / Assessing the combined use of reduced tillage and cover crops for mitigating greenhouse gas emissions from arable ecosystem. In: Geoderma. 2014 ; Vol. 223-225. pp. 9-20.
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abstract = "Field management activities have significant impacts on greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from cropland soils. In this study, the effectiveness of combining reduced tillage with a mustard cover crop (RT–CC) to mitigate present and future GHG emissions from a fertilized spring barley field in the southeast of Ireland was assessed. The field site which had a free-draining sandy loam soil with low soil moisture holding capacity, had been managed for three years prior to measurements under two different tillage systems; conventional (CT) and RT–CC. Field measurements of soil CO2, N2O and CH4 emissions, crop biomass, water filled pore space (WFPS), soil temperature and soil nitrate were made to capture both steady state conditions as well as the management events. Field data were used to validate the DNDC (DeNitrification–DeComposition) model and future GHG emissions under two sets of climate projections were predicted. Although fertilizer use was the same for both treatments theRT–CC treatment had significantly (p b 0.05) higherN2O emissions for both present and future climate. However, the inclusion of a cover crop with the RT treatment increased predicted soil organic carbon (SOC), which more than compensated for the higher N2O flux resulting in a lower total GHG balance (TGGB) compared with the CT treatment. Results show that the effectiveness of RT–CC in mitigating GHG emissions will depend crucially on the magnitude of compensatory increases in carbon dioxide uptake by the cover crop that will contribute to a reduction in the total GHG balance.",
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note = "Acknowledgements This work was funded by the Irish Department of Agriculture Research Stimulus Fund (project no: 07 528) and contributed to the EU FP7 project GHG-Europe. We are grateful to the staff of Teagasc Research Centre, Carlow for facilitating our field work. Pete Smith is a Royal Society-Wolfson Research Merit Award holder.",
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AU - Abdalla, M

AU - Hastings, A

AU - Helmy, M

AU - Prescher, A

AU - Osbourne, B

AU - Lanigan, G

AU - Forristal, D

AU - Killi, D

AU - Maratha, P

AU - Williams, M

AU - Rueangritsarakul, K

AU - Smith, P

AU - Nolan, P

AU - Jones, M B

N1 - Acknowledgements This work was funded by the Irish Department of Agriculture Research Stimulus Fund (project no: 07 528) and contributed to the EU FP7 project GHG-Europe. We are grateful to the staff of Teagasc Research Centre, Carlow for facilitating our field work. Pete Smith is a Royal Society-Wolfson Research Merit Award holder.

PY - 2014/7

Y1 - 2014/7

N2 - Field management activities have significant impacts on greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from cropland soils. In this study, the effectiveness of combining reduced tillage with a mustard cover crop (RT–CC) to mitigate present and future GHG emissions from a fertilized spring barley field in the southeast of Ireland was assessed. The field site which had a free-draining sandy loam soil with low soil moisture holding capacity, had been managed for three years prior to measurements under two different tillage systems; conventional (CT) and RT–CC. Field measurements of soil CO2, N2O and CH4 emissions, crop biomass, water filled pore space (WFPS), soil temperature and soil nitrate were made to capture both steady state conditions as well as the management events. Field data were used to validate the DNDC (DeNitrification–DeComposition) model and future GHG emissions under two sets of climate projections were predicted. Although fertilizer use was the same for both treatments theRT–CC treatment had significantly (p b 0.05) higherN2O emissions for both present and future climate. However, the inclusion of a cover crop with the RT treatment increased predicted soil organic carbon (SOC), which more than compensated for the higher N2O flux resulting in a lower total GHG balance (TGGB) compared with the CT treatment. Results show that the effectiveness of RT–CC in mitigating GHG emissions will depend crucially on the magnitude of compensatory increases in carbon dioxide uptake by the cover crop that will contribute to a reduction in the total GHG balance.

AB - Field management activities have significant impacts on greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from cropland soils. In this study, the effectiveness of combining reduced tillage with a mustard cover crop (RT–CC) to mitigate present and future GHG emissions from a fertilized spring barley field in the southeast of Ireland was assessed. The field site which had a free-draining sandy loam soil with low soil moisture holding capacity, had been managed for three years prior to measurements under two different tillage systems; conventional (CT) and RT–CC. Field measurements of soil CO2, N2O and CH4 emissions, crop biomass, water filled pore space (WFPS), soil temperature and soil nitrate were made to capture both steady state conditions as well as the management events. Field data were used to validate the DNDC (DeNitrification–DeComposition) model and future GHG emissions under two sets of climate projections were predicted. Although fertilizer use was the same for both treatments theRT–CC treatment had significantly (p b 0.05) higherN2O emissions for both present and future climate. However, the inclusion of a cover crop with the RT treatment increased predicted soil organic carbon (SOC), which more than compensated for the higher N2O flux resulting in a lower total GHG balance (TGGB) compared with the CT treatment. Results show that the effectiveness of RT–CC in mitigating GHG emissions will depend crucially on the magnitude of compensatory increases in carbon dioxide uptake by the cover crop that will contribute to a reduction in the total GHG balance.

KW - reduced tillage

KW - conventional tillage

KW - cover crop

KW - DNDC model

KW - greenhouse gas emissions

KW - future climate

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DO - 10.1016/j.geoderma.2014.01.030

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EP - 20

JO - Geoderma

JF - Geoderma

SN - 0016-7061

ER -