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Journal of Environmental Quality Abstract -

Effect of Anhydrous Ammonia Fertilization on Emission of Nitrous Oxide from Soils1


This article in JEQ

  1. Vol. 10 No. 1, p. 77-80
    Received: May 28, 1980

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  1. J. M. Bremner,
  2. G. A. Breitenbeck and
  3. A. M. Blackmer2



A simple method was developed for accurate injection of anhydrous ammonia in field studies to assess the effects of this fertilizer on emissions of nitrous oxide (N2O) from soils. Use of this method and of a chamber technique for measurement of N2O emissions showed that fertilization of three Iowa soils with anhydrous ammonia (250 kg N/ha) led to a very marked increase in emission of N2O. Emissions of N2O-N from the fertilized soils in 139 days ranged from 12.1 to 19.6 kg/ha and averaged 15.6 kg/ha. The corresponding emissions from the unfertilized soils ranged from 1.7 to 2.5 kg/ha and averaged 2.0 kg/ha. Most of the N2O evolved from the fertilized soils was produced within 42 days after fertilization, and N2O emissions from these soils 96 days after fertilization were not appreciably greater than those from the corresponding unfertilized soils. The fertilizer-induced emissions of N2O-N observed after application of anhydrous ammonia greatly exceeded those detected in similar field studies using other N fertilizers and represented 4.0–6.8% of the fertilizer N applied.

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