Agricultural production of greenhouse gases is a big issue that contributes to climate change. So, it is important to study what changes must be made to agricultural practices to minimize greenhouse gas release. Heller et al. (2010) carried out a study of different tilling and soil fertilization practices, which mainly consisted of adding different types of organic waste. The aim of the study that was carried out by the authors was to understand how different types of organic waste impact soil. It was found out that there is a correlation between ammonia in soil and the emissions of nitrogen oxide and carbon dioxide into the air. In addition, carbon dioxide fluxes correlated with soil water content, where as nitrogen oxide fluxes correlated with air temperature. – Nitya Chhiber
Heller, H. (2010). Effects of Manure and Cultivation on Carbon Dioxide and Nitrous Oxide Emissions from a Corn Field under Mediterranean Conditions. Journal of Environmental Quality 39, 437 – 448.
Heller et al. (2010) exposed soil to a variety of different scenarios, including variations in the intensity of tillage, type of organic residue applied and whether the plot was planted in corn. In control cases of no tillage (NT), no organic residue (NR) soils were included. Emissions of carbon dioxide and nitrogen oxide from the soil were measured and the soil organic content was monitored.
The results show that the most carbon dioxide was released after the addition of pasteurized chicken manure and after irrigation, even under the no-tillage system scenario. Nitrogen dioxide emissions also increased with the addition of pasteurized chicken manure, as well as with tillage. The occurrence of rainfall, which increased soil moisture content, led to peaks of carbon dioxide and nitrogen oxide release. Therefore, concentrations of carbon dioxide emissions from soil are related to the percentage of water content. Nitrogen oxide fluxes were higher only if there was rainfall after the application of inorganic fertilizer. Nitrous oxide emissions were reduced when crops were growing on the plots owing to the competition for ammonium ions from the crops. Furthermore, there is a strong correlation between the content of ammonia in soil and the emissions of carbon dioxide and nitrogen oxide; ammonia in soil forms due to the combination of nitrogen fertilizers and carbon from organic waste.