Greenhouse gas flux and crop productivity after 10 years of reduced and no tillage in a wheat-maize cropping system.

TitleGreenhouse gas flux and crop productivity after 10 years of reduced and no tillage in a wheat-maize cropping system.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2013
AuthorsTian S, Wang Y, Ning T, Zhao H, Wang B, Li N, Li Z, Chi S
JournalPloS one
Date Published2013

Appropriate tillage plays an important role in mitigating the emissions of greenhouse gases (GHG) in regions with higher crop yields, but the emission situations of some reduced tillage systems such as subsoiling, harrow tillage and rotary tillage are not comprehensively studied. The objective of this study was to evaluate the emission characteristics of GHG (CH4 and N2O) under four reduced tillage systems from October 2007 to August 2009 based on a 10-yr tillage experiment in the North China Plain, which included no-tillage (NT) and three reduced tillage systems of subsoil tillage (ST), harrow tillage (HT) and rotary tillage (RT), with the conventional tillage (CT) as the control. The soil under the five tillage systems was an absorption sink for CH4 and an emission source for N2O. The soil temperature positive impacted on the CH4 absorption by the soils of different tillage systems, while a significant negative correlation was observed between the absorption and soil moisture. The main driving factor for increased N2O emission was not the soil temperature but the soil moisture and the content of nitrate. In the two rotation cycle of wheat-maize system (10/2007-10/2008 and 10/2008-10/2009), averaged cumulative uptake fluxes of CH4 under CT, ST, HT, RT and NT systems were approximately 1.67, 1.72, 1.63, 1.77 and 1.17 t ha(-1) year(-1), respectively, and meanwhile, approximately 4.43, 4.38, 4.47, 4.30 and 4.61 t ha(-1) year(-1) of N2O were emitted from soil of these systems, respectively. Moreover, they also gained 33.73, 34.63, 32.62, 34.56 and 27.54 t ha(-1) yields during two crop-rotation periods, respectively. Based on these comparisons, the rotary tillage and subsoiling mitigated the emissions of CH4 and N2O as well as improving crop productivity of a wheat-maize cropping system.

Alternate JournalPLoS ONE