EFFECT OF A NITRIFICATION INHIBITOR
ON NITROUS OXIDE AND AMMONIA
EMISSIONS FROM A MAIZE CROP
Jaime Recio-Huetos1, Alberto Sanz-Cobeña1, Guillermo Guardia, Julia le Noé2, Sonia García-Marco 1, Gemma Andreu1, José Manuel Álvarez 1,
1 ETSI Agronomos, Technical University of Madrid, Ciudad Universitaria, 28040 Madrid, Spain.
2 Pierre and Marie Curie University, 4 Place Jussieu, 75005 Paris, France
Nitrogen fertilizer is essential for the high rate of food production delivered by modern agriculture (Kang Ni et al. 2014). The application of organic and inorganic fertilizers to soil
can result in increased gaseous emissions, such as NH3, N2O, CO2 and CH4 as well as nitrate leaching. Besides, maize cropping has a high potential to generate large N losses
due to its water and nitrogen demand.
• Volatilization of ammonia (NH3) from fertilized agricultural fields to the atmosphere causes adverse human health and environmental effects and supposes an increase in
economic cost (Nelson et al. 2017).
• Nitrous oxide (N2O) is a harmful greenhouse gas (GHG) which is mainly produced through the soil microbial processes of nitrification and denitrification (Guardia et al. 2017).
• The use of Nitrification Inhibitors (NIs) has been shown to effectively decrease nitrogen losses from the soil- plant system (Florio et.al 2016).
Field Station: “La Chimenea”, located in the central Tajo river basin near Aranjuez (Madrid, Spain).
Crop: Irrigated Zea mays crop period was from 20th April 2015 to 23rd September 2015.
Climate conditions: Average temperature for this period was 21.3 0C and 100 mm rainfall: 2 treatments + 2 repetitions: 1600 m2 per plot
NH3 measurement techniques:
• Integrated Horizontal Flux (IHF) (Denmead et al. 1977) and
•backward Lagrangian Stochastic Model (bLS) (Flesh et al., 2005).
N2O was sampled during
maize crop period by
using opaque manual
circular static chambers
and measured by gas
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Guardia, G., Cangani, M. T., Andreu, G., Sanz-Cobena, A., García-Marco, S., Álvarez, J. M., & Vallejo, A. (2017). Effect of inhibitors and fertigation strategies on GHG emissions, NO fluxes and yield in irrigated maize. Field Crops Research, 204, 135-145.
Nelson, A. J., Koloutsou-Vakakis, S., Rood, M. J., Myles, L., Lehmann, C., Bernacchi, C., ... & Lin, J. (2017). Season-long ammonia flux measurements above fertilized corn in central Illinois, USA, using relaxed eddy accumulation. Agricultural and Forest Meteorology, 239, 202-212.
Sanz, A., Misselbrook, T., Sanz, M. J., & Vallejo, A. (2010). Use of an inverse dispersion technique for estimating ammonia emission from surface-applied slurry. Atmospheric Environment, 44(7), 999-1002.
Sanz-Cobena, A., García-Marco, S., Quemada, M., Gabriel, J.L., Almendros, P., Vallejo, A., 2014. Do cover crops enhance N2O, CO2 or CH4 emissions from soil in Mediterranean arable systems? Science of the Total Environment 466, 164-174.
van Groenigen, J.W., Velthof, G.L., Oenema, O., van Groenigen, K.J., van Kessel, C., 2010. Towards an agronomic assessment of N2O emissions: a case study for arable crops. European Journal of Soil Science 61(6), 903-913.
N2O flux measurements NH3 flux measurements
Leuning et al., 1985
Shuttles 5 per
plot at different
heights: 0.25; 0.65 ;
1.25; 2.05; 3.05 m
The principal objectives of this study were to assess the inhibitory effect of 3,4 dimethylpyrazole phosphate (DMPP) (Zerulla et al., 2001) on N2O emissions and NH3
volatilization on an irrigated maize crop (Zea Mays), under Mediterranean conditions, fertilized with pig slurry (PS) and Calcium ammonium nitrate (CAN) in split application,
adjusted to provide 200 kg N ha-1 .
MATERIALS & METHODS
NH3 emission during two
N2O Flux Emissions
Dotted arrows indicate the time of N fertilization and solid arrow the sowing date. Vertical bars indicate standard errors.
The authors are grateful to the Spanish Ministry of Economy and Innovation and the Community of Madrid for their economic support through Projects AGL2015-64582-C3-3-R, the Agrisost-CM Project (S2013/ABI- 2717) AND EurochemAgro ®. We also thank the technicians and researchers at the Department of Chemistry
and Agricultural Analysis of the Agronomy Faculty (Technical University of Madrid, UPM).