See more from this Session: Agricultural Practices to Increase Nitrogen-Use Efficiency, Carbon Sequestration, and Greenhouse Gas Mitigation : II
Monday, October 17, 2011
Henry Gonzalez Convention Center, Hall C, Street Level
The atmospheric concentration of nitrous oxide (N2O), an important greenhouse gas and natural catalyst of stratospheric ozone decay, is increasing, and agricultural soils are the main source of this increase. While factors regulating N2O production by soil bacteria are well known, our understanding of agricultural management impacts on soil N2O emissions remains limited due to complex interactions among proximal and distal factors regulating soil N2O emissions. It is commonly recognized that mathematical models are needed to predict soil N2O emissions in light of this complexity. Existing models have not been widely tested in diverse agricultural systems. We compared soil N2O emissions predicted using a process based model, Denitrification-Decomposition (DNDC), with N2O emissions data collected between 2005 and 2010 from the long-term USDA-ARS Farming Systems Project (FSP) in Beltsville, Maryland. We collected soil N2O emissions data from two conventional three-year corn-rye-soybean-wheat/soybean rotations, one under no-till (NT) management and one under chisel till (CT) management; and one three-year corn-rye-soybean-wheat/vetch rotation that receives poultry litter two of every three years. Neither conventional system receives any manure applications. We hypothesized that DNDC would better predict soil N2O emissions from the two conventional systems than from the organic system since there are few long-term datasets from systems relying on organic nutrient sources available for calibrating process-based models. We used local climate, soil and management information to run DNDC and will present results comparing DNDC predictions with observed values. We anticipate that our results will help inform future improvements in the DNDC model.