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Journal of Environmental Quality Abstract -

Nitrous and Nitrogen Oxide Emissions from Turfgrass Receiving Different Forms of Nitrogen Fertilizer


This article in JEQ

  1. Vol. 29 No. 2, p. 621-630
    Received: Mar 5, 1999

    * Corresponding author(s): criddle@lrs.uoguelph.ca
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  1. S. R. Maggiotto,
  2. J. A. Webb,
  3. C. Wagner-Riddle * and
  4. G. W. Thurtell
  1. Dep. of Land Resource Science, Univ. of Guelph, Guelph, ON, Canada N1G 2W1.



The use of N fertilizer in agriculture is considered an important source of atmospheric N2O and NOx. Choice of fertilizer type and management has been considered a method for mitigating these emissions. Micrometeorological methods were used to study the effect of inorganic N fertilizers urea (U), slow-release urea (SRU), and ammonium nitrate (AN) on fluxes of N2O, NO, and NO2 from turfgrass field plots during three seasons, from 1995 to 1997 (total of 353 d of measurement). Daily average fluxes after fertilizations reached a maximum of 2091 ng N2O-N m−2 s−1 after the first fertilization with AN in 1996. The fertilized plots had significantly higher emissions (P < 0.05) than the control plot, and the highest N2O emissions were from AN in 1995 and 1996, and from SRU in 1997. Daily fluxes of up to 186 ng NO-N m−2 s−1 were measured within 1 wk following fertilization in 1997. The U plot had significantly higher NO emissions during all seasons compared with other fertilized plots. Fluxes of NOx during 1996 and 1997 were consistently downward, indicating that turfgrass was acting as a sink for NOx. NO2 uptake seemed to be directly related to NO emissions, and the U plot presented the highest NO2 uptake. Urea-based fertilizers seem to minimize N2O emissions, although long-term effects of SRU still need to be studied. The higher NO emissions from U-based fertilized plots do not seem to be a problem, since NOx uptake occurred at higher rates than NO emission.

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