Nitrous oxide emission from animal manures applied to soil under controlled conditions

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Animal manures may differ strongly in composition and as a result may differ in the emission of N2O following application to soil. An incubation study was carried out to assess the effects of type of mineral N fertilizer and manure, application technique and application rate on N2O emission from a sandy soil with low organic matter content. Fluxes of N2O were measured 30 times over a 98-day period. The total N2O emission from mineral N fertilizer ranged from 2.1 to 4.0% of the N applied. High emissions were associated with manures with high contents of inorganic N, easily mineralizable N and easily mineralizable C, such as liquid pig manure (7.3-13.9% of the N applied). The emission from cattle slurries ranged from 1.8 to 3.0% and that of poultry manures from 0.5 to 1.9%. The total N2O emission during the experimental period tended to increase linearly with increasing N application rate of NH4NO3 and liquid pig manure. The N2O emission from surface-applied NH4NO3 was significantly smaller than that following the incorporation of NH4NO3 in the soil. The N2O emission from pig manure placed in a row at 5 cm depth was significantly higher than from surface-application and other techniques in which manure was incorporated in the soil. The results show that modification of the composition and application technique may be tools to mitigate emission of N2O
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)221-230
JournalBiology and Fertility of Soils
Publication statusPublished - 2003


  • volatile fatty-acids
  • methane emissions
  • cattle slurry
  • pig slurry
  • laboratory conditions
  • surface application
  • grassland
  • injection
  • nitrate
  • carbon

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