Conservation Evidence strives to be as useful to conservationists as possible. Please take our survey to help the team improve our resource.

Providing evidence to improve practice

Individual study: Tillage and nitrogen fertilization effects on nitrous oxide yield-scaled emissions in a rainfed Mediterranean area

Published source details

Plaza-Bonilla D., Álvaro-Fuentes J., Arrúe J.L. & Cantero-Martínez C. (2014) Tillage and nitrogen fertilization effects on nitrous oxide yield-scaled emissions in a rainfed Mediterranean area. Agriculture, Ecosystems and Environment, 189, 43-52


This study is summarised as evidence for the intervention(s) shown on the right. The icon shows which synopsis it is relevant to.

Soil: Add slurry to the soil Mediterranean Farmland

A replicated, randomized, controlled study in 2010–2013 in rainfed barley fields in Spain (same study as (11)) found more ammonium and higher nitrous oxide emissions in plots with added slurry, compared to plots without it. Nutrients: Similar amounts of nitrate were found in plots with or without added slurry (59–107 vs 65 kg/ha). More ammonium was found in plots with added slurry (12–16 vs 3 kg/ha). Greenhouse gases: Higher nitrous oxide emissions were found in plots with added slurry, compared to plots without it, in one of two comparisons (0.2 vs 0.1 mg/m/d) Methods: Plots (40 x 12 m) had pig slurry (75 or 150 kg N/ha) or no fertilizer (three plots for each). Plots had conventional tillage (mouldboard plough: 25 cm depth; cultivator: 15 cm depth) or no tillage. Soil samples were collected at the end of the experiment (two samples/plot; 0–75 cm depth).

 

Soil: Use organic fertilizer instead of inorganic Mediterranean Farmland

A replicated, randomized, controlled study in 2010–2013 in rainfed barley fields in Spain (same study as (20)) found less nitrate and lower nitrous oxide emissions, but more ammonium, in plots with organic fertilizer, compared to inorganic fertilizer. Nutrients: Less nitrate was found in plots with organic fertilizer, compared to inorganic fertilizer, in two of four comparisons (59 vs 107–148 kg/ha). More ammonium was found in plots with organic fertilizer, compared to inorganic fertilizer, in one of four comparisons (16 vs 9 kg/ha). Greenhouse gases: Lower nitrous oxide emissions were found in plots with organic fertilizer, compared to inorganic fertilizer, in one of four comparisons (0.1 vs 0.3 mg/m/day). Methods: Plots (inorganic: 50 x 6 m or 40 x 6 m; organic: 40 x 12 m) had inorganic fertilizer (60, 75, 120, or 150 kg N/ha) or organic fertilizer (75 or 150 kg N/ha) (three plots for each). Plots had conventional tillage (mouldboard plough: 25 cm depth; cultivator: 15 cm depth) or no tillage. Soil samples (0–5 cm depth) and nitrous oxide samples (closed chambers, 15 mL samples, 0, 30, and 60 minutes after closing), were collected every 2–3 weeks in 2011–2013.

 

Soil: Use no tillage in arable fields Mediterranean Farmland

A replicated, randomized, controlled study in 1996–2013 in two rainfed barley fields in northeast Spain (same study as (35)) found less nitrate in soils with no tillage, compared to conventional tillage. Tillage had inconsistent effects on greenhouse gases. Nutrients: Less nitrate was found in soils with no tillage, compared to conventional tillage, in one of two comparisons (long-term experiment: 36 vs 56 kg/ha), but similar amounts of ammonium were found (10–11 vs 9–11 kg/ha). Greenhouse gases: More nitrous oxide was emitted from soils with no tillage, compared to conventional tillage, in one of two comparisons (short-term experiment: 0.20 vs 0.14 mg N2O-N/m2/day). Less greenhouse gas was emitted, per kilo of barley, in plots with no tillage, compared to conventional tillage (0.05 vs 0.10 kg CO2 equivalent/kg barley). Methods: No tillage or conventional tillage was used on three plots each, in each of two fields (2010–2013 in the short-term field, and 1996–2013 in the long-term field; plots size not clearly reported). A mouldboard plough (25 cm depth) and a cultivator (15 cm depth) were used for conventional tillage. For no tillage, the residues were chopped and spread, and pre-emergence herbicide was used. Some plots were fertilized (0–150 kg N/ha). Soil samples (0–5 cm depth) and greenhouse-gas samples (closed chambers, 15 mL samples, 0, 30, and 60 minutes after closing), were collected every 2–3 weeks in 2011–2013.