Earthworm-induced N mineralization in fertilized grassland increases both N2O emission and crop-N uptake

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Abstract

Earthworms can increase plant nitrogen (N) availability by stimulating mineralization of organic matter. However, recent studies show that they can also cause elevated emission of the greenhouse gas nitrous oxide (N2O). It is unclear to what extent these two effects occur in fertilized grasslands, where earthworm densities are typically greatest. The aims of this study were therefore to (i) quantify the effects of earthworm activity on N uptake and N2O emissions in fertilized grasslands and (ii) link these effects to earthworm functional groups. In a 73-day factorial mesocosm experiment, combinations of Lumbricus rubellus (Lr, epigeic), Aporrectodea longa (Al, anecic) and Aporrectodea caliginosa (Ac, endogeic) individuals were introduced into columns with grass growing on a fertilized (250 kg N ha-1) loamy soil. Introduction of Lr resulted in 50.8% (P <0.001) larger N2O emissions and 5.4% (P = 0.032) larger grass biomass. Grass-N uptake increased from 172 to 188 kg N ha-1 in the presence of Lr (P <0.001), from 176 to 183 kg N ha-1 in the presence of Ac (P = 0.001), and from 168 to 199 kg N ha-1 when all three earthworm species were present (P = 0.006). Lr increased soil NH4+-N concentrations (P = 0.010), further indicating enhanced mineralization of N caused by earthworm activity. We conclude that the previously observed beneficial effect of earthworm presence on plant-N availability has a negative side-effect: increased emissions of the mineralized N as N2O
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)152-161
JournalEuropean Journal of Soil Science
Volume62
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2011

Fingerprint

nitrous oxide
earthworms
earthworm
mineralization
grasslands
grassland
crop
crops
grass
grasses
Aporrectodea longa
Lumbricus rubellus
uptake mechanisms
Aporrectodea caliginosa
mesocosm
loam soils
greenhouse gas emissions
functional group
soil organic matter
greenhouse gas

Keywords

  • nitrous-oxide emission
  • organic-matter
  • carbon-dioxide
  • soil-structure
  • agroecosystems
  • fluxes
  • populations
  • invasion
  • habitat
  • forests

Cite this

@article{1611c470d0474d1385b07aaa9b106890,
title = "Earthworm-induced N mineralization in fertilized grassland increases both N2O emission and crop-N uptake",
abstract = "Earthworms can increase plant nitrogen (N) availability by stimulating mineralization of organic matter. However, recent studies show that they can also cause elevated emission of the greenhouse gas nitrous oxide (N2O). It is unclear to what extent these two effects occur in fertilized grasslands, where earthworm densities are typically greatest. The aims of this study were therefore to (i) quantify the effects of earthworm activity on N uptake and N2O emissions in fertilized grasslands and (ii) link these effects to earthworm functional groups. In a 73-day factorial mesocosm experiment, combinations of Lumbricus rubellus (Lr, epigeic), Aporrectodea longa (Al, anecic) and Aporrectodea caliginosa (Ac, endogeic) individuals were introduced into columns with grass growing on a fertilized (250 kg N ha-1) loamy soil. Introduction of Lr resulted in 50.8{\%} (P <0.001) larger N2O emissions and 5.4{\%} (P = 0.032) larger grass biomass. Grass-N uptake increased from 172 to 188 kg N ha-1 in the presence of Lr (P <0.001), from 176 to 183 kg N ha-1 in the presence of Ac (P = 0.001), and from 168 to 199 kg N ha-1 when all three earthworm species were present (P = 0.006). Lr increased soil NH4+-N concentrations (P = 0.010), further indicating enhanced mineralization of N caused by earthworm activity. We conclude that the previously observed beneficial effect of earthworm presence on plant-N availability has a negative side-effect: increased emissions of the mineralized N as N2O",
keywords = "nitrous-oxide emission, organic-matter, carbon-dioxide, soil-structure, agroecosystems, fluxes, populations, invasion, habitat, forests",
author = "I.M. Lubbers and L. Brussaard and W. Otten and {van Groenigen}, J.W.",
year = "2011",
doi = "10.1111/j.1365-2389.2010.01313.x",
language = "English",
volume = "62",
pages = "152--161",
journal = "European Journal of Soil Science",
issn = "1351-0754",
publisher = "Wiley",
number = "1",

}

Earthworm-induced N mineralization in fertilized grassland increases both N2O emission and crop-N uptake. / Lubbers, I.M.; Brussaard, L.; Otten, W.; van Groenigen, J.W.

In: European Journal of Soil Science, Vol. 62, No. 1, 2011, p. 152-161.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

TY - JOUR

T1 - Earthworm-induced N mineralization in fertilized grassland increases both N2O emission and crop-N uptake

AU - Lubbers, I.M.

AU - Brussaard, L.

AU - Otten, W.

AU - van Groenigen, J.W.

PY - 2011

Y1 - 2011

N2 - Earthworms can increase plant nitrogen (N) availability by stimulating mineralization of organic matter. However, recent studies show that they can also cause elevated emission of the greenhouse gas nitrous oxide (N2O). It is unclear to what extent these two effects occur in fertilized grasslands, where earthworm densities are typically greatest. The aims of this study were therefore to (i) quantify the effects of earthworm activity on N uptake and N2O emissions in fertilized grasslands and (ii) link these effects to earthworm functional groups. In a 73-day factorial mesocosm experiment, combinations of Lumbricus rubellus (Lr, epigeic), Aporrectodea longa (Al, anecic) and Aporrectodea caliginosa (Ac, endogeic) individuals were introduced into columns with grass growing on a fertilized (250 kg N ha-1) loamy soil. Introduction of Lr resulted in 50.8% (P <0.001) larger N2O emissions and 5.4% (P = 0.032) larger grass biomass. Grass-N uptake increased from 172 to 188 kg N ha-1 in the presence of Lr (P <0.001), from 176 to 183 kg N ha-1 in the presence of Ac (P = 0.001), and from 168 to 199 kg N ha-1 when all three earthworm species were present (P = 0.006). Lr increased soil NH4+-N concentrations (P = 0.010), further indicating enhanced mineralization of N caused by earthworm activity. We conclude that the previously observed beneficial effect of earthworm presence on plant-N availability has a negative side-effect: increased emissions of the mineralized N as N2O

AB - Earthworms can increase plant nitrogen (N) availability by stimulating mineralization of organic matter. However, recent studies show that they can also cause elevated emission of the greenhouse gas nitrous oxide (N2O). It is unclear to what extent these two effects occur in fertilized grasslands, where earthworm densities are typically greatest. The aims of this study were therefore to (i) quantify the effects of earthworm activity on N uptake and N2O emissions in fertilized grasslands and (ii) link these effects to earthworm functional groups. In a 73-day factorial mesocosm experiment, combinations of Lumbricus rubellus (Lr, epigeic), Aporrectodea longa (Al, anecic) and Aporrectodea caliginosa (Ac, endogeic) individuals were introduced into columns with grass growing on a fertilized (250 kg N ha-1) loamy soil. Introduction of Lr resulted in 50.8% (P <0.001) larger N2O emissions and 5.4% (P = 0.032) larger grass biomass. Grass-N uptake increased from 172 to 188 kg N ha-1 in the presence of Lr (P <0.001), from 176 to 183 kg N ha-1 in the presence of Ac (P = 0.001), and from 168 to 199 kg N ha-1 when all three earthworm species were present (P = 0.006). Lr increased soil NH4+-N concentrations (P = 0.010), further indicating enhanced mineralization of N caused by earthworm activity. We conclude that the previously observed beneficial effect of earthworm presence on plant-N availability has a negative side-effect: increased emissions of the mineralized N as N2O

KW - nitrous-oxide emission

KW - organic-matter

KW - carbon-dioxide

KW - soil-structure

KW - agroecosystems

KW - fluxes

KW - populations

KW - invasion

KW - habitat

KW - forests

U2 - 10.1111/j.1365-2389.2010.01313.x

DO - 10.1111/j.1365-2389.2010.01313.x

M3 - Article

VL - 62

SP - 152

EP - 161

JO - European Journal of Soil Science

JF - European Journal of Soil Science

SN - 1351-0754

IS - 1

ER -