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Issue 4, 2019
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Biochar amendment and Calamagrostis angustifolia planting affect sources and production pathways of N2O in agricultural ditch systems

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Abstract

Nitrous oxide (N2O) from agricultural ditches is a non-negligible source of anthropogenic greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, but few studies have addressed this topic in depth. On the other hand, although there are numerous reports that biochar application can affect N2O emissions from soil, the understanding of the process and source of changes is still incomplete. To examine the effect of biochar and Calamagrostis angustifolia on N2O emissions, we conducted experiments with constructed ditches where corn stalk biochar (pyrolysis temperature of 450 °C) was applied at a rate of 16.77 Mg ha−1 and C. angustifolia was planted. The sources (native sediment versus exogenous inorganic N) and production pathways (nitrification versus denitrification) of N2O emissions were discriminated using the 15N isotope tracer method. We observed that biochar application reduced the cumulative total N-N2O emissions from the native sediment by 10.8–18.7% and reduced the cumulative 15N-N2O emissions from the exogenous 15N-labelled inorganic N by 25.7–68.6%; C. angustifolia planting reduced these cumulative N2O emissions by 48.8–53.3% and 93.3–92.4%, respectively. The results showed that biochar stimulated nitrification and nitrification-derived 15N-N2O emissions, but reduced denitrification-derived 15N-N2O emissions in bare sediment microcosms; C. angustifolia effectively reduced both nitrification-derived and denitrification-derived 15N-N2O emissions. Therefore, we concluded that the effect of biochar application on N2O emissions may depend on its dominant N2O production pathway and biochar application plus C. angustifolia planting could be beneficial for the mitigation of N2O emissions in agricultural ditch systems.

Graphical abstract: Biochar amendment and Calamagrostis angustifolia planting affect sources and production pathways of N2O in agricultural ditch systems

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Publication details

The article was received on 06 Dec 2018, accepted on 05 Mar 2019 and first published on 07 Mar 2019


Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C8EM00563J
Citation: Environ. Sci.: Processes Impacts, 2019,21, 727-737

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    Biochar amendment and Calamagrostis angustifolia planting affect sources and production pathways of N2O in agricultural ditch systems

    Q. Cheng, H. Cheng, Z. Wu, X. Pu, L. Lu, J. Wang, J. Zhao and A. Zheng, Environ. Sci.: Processes Impacts, 2019, 21, 727
    DOI: 10.1039/C8EM00563J

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