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Revista Brasileira de Ciência do Solo

versão On-line ISSN 1806-9657

Resumo

ZANATTA, Josiléia Acordi et al. Nitrous oxide and methane fluxes in south Brazilian gleysol as affected by nitrogen fertilizers. Rev. Bras. Ciênc. Solo [online]. 2010, vol.34, n.5, pp.1653-1665. ISSN 1806-9657.  http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0100-06832010000500018.

Nitrogen fertilizers increase the nitrous oxide (N2O) emission and can reduce the methane (CH4) oxidation from agricultural soils. However, the magnitude of this effect is unknown in Southern Brazilian edaphoclimatic conditions, as well as the potential of different sources of mineral N fertilizers in such an effect. The aim of this study was to investigate the effects of different mineral N sources (urea, ammonium sulphate, calcium nitrate, ammonium nitrate, Uran, controlled- release N fertilizer, and urea with urease inhibitor) on N2O and CH4 fluxes from Gleysol in the South of Brazil (Porto Alegre, RS), in comparison to a control treatment without a N application. The experiment was arranged in a randomized block with three replications, and the N fertilizer was applied to corn at the V5 growth stage. Air samples were collected from a static chambers for 15 days after the N application and the N2O and CH4 concentration were determined by gas chromatography. The topmost emissions occurred three days after the N fertilizer application and ranged from 187.8 to 8587.4 µg m-2 h-1 N. The greatest emissions were observed for N-nitric based fertilizers, while N sources with a urease inhibitor and controlled release N presented the smallest values and the N-ammonium and amidic were intermediate. This peak of N2O emissions was related to soil NO3--N (R2 = 0.56, p < 0.08) when the soil water-filled pore space was up to 70 % and it indicated that N2O was predominantly produced by a denitrification process in the soil. Soil CH4 fluxes ranged from -30.1 µg m-2 h-1 C (absorption) to +32.5 µg m-2 h-1 C (emission), and the accumulated emission in the period was related to the soil NH4+-N concentration (R2 = 0.82, p < 0.001), probably due to enzymatic competition between nitrification and metanotrophy processes. Despite both of the gas fluxes being affected by N fertilizers, in the average of the treatments, the impact on CH4 emission (0.2 kg ha-1 equivalent  CO2-C  ) was a hundredfold minor than for N2O (132.8 kg ha-1 equivalent  CO2-C). Accounting for the N2O and CH4 emissions plus energetic costs of N fertilizers of 1.3 kg CO2-C kg-1 N regarding the manufacture, transport and application, we estimated an environmental impact of N sources ranging from 220.4 to 664.5 kg ha-1 CO2 -C , which can only be partially offset by C sequestration in the soil, as no study in South Brazil reported an annual net soil C accumulation rate larger than 160 kg ha-1 C due to N fertilization. The N2O mitigation can be obtained by the replacement of N-nitric sources by ammonium and amidic fertilizers. Controlled release N fertilizers and urea with urease inhibitor are also potential alternatives to N2O emission mitigation to atmospheric and systematic studies are necessary to quantify their potential in Brazilian agroecosystems.

Palavras-chave : nitrogen fertilization; environmental impacts; agriculture; greenhouse effect.

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