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This article in JEQ

  1. Vol. 35 No. 4, p. 1554-1565
    Received: May 20, 2005

    * Corresponding author(s): changsheng.li@unh.edu
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Assessing Alternatives for Mitigating Net Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Increasing Yields from Rice Production in China Over the Next Twenty Years

  1. Changsheng Li *a,
  2. William Salasb,
  3. Benjamin DeAngeloc and
  4. Steven Rosec
  1. a Institute for the Study of Earth, Oceans, and Space, University of New Hampshire, Durham, NH 03824
    b Applied Geosolutions, LLC, Durham, NH 03824
    c Climate Change Division, Office of Atmospheric Programs, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Washington, DC 20460


Assessments of the efficacy of mitigation of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from paddy rice systems have typically been analyzed based on field studies. Extrapolation of the mitigation potential of alternative management practices from field studies to a national scale may be enhanced by spatially explicit process models, like the DeNitrification and DeComposition (DNDC) model. Our objective was to analyze the impacts of mitigation alternatives, management of water, fertilizer, and rice straw, on net GHG emissions (carbon dioxide, methane, and nitrous oxide fluxes), yields, and water use. After constructing a GIS database of soil, climate, rice cropping area and systems, and management practices, we ran DNDC with 21-yr alternative management schemes for each of the approximately 2500 counties in China. Results indicate that, despite large-scale adoption of midseason drainage, there is still large potential for additional methane reductions from Chinese rice paddies of 20 to 60% over 2000–2020. However, changes in management for reducing CH4 emissions simultaneously affect soil carbon dynamics as well as N2O emissions and can thereby reorder the ranking of technical mitigation effectiveness. The order of net GHG emissions reduction effectiveness found here is upland rice > shallow flooding > ammonium sulfate > midseason drainage > off-season straw > slow-release fertilizer > continuous flooding. Most of the management alternatives produced yields comparable to the baseline; however, continuous flooding and upland rice significantly reduced yields. Water management strategies appear to be the most technically promising GHG mitigation alternatives, with shallow flooding providing additional benefits of both water conservation and increased yields.

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Copyright © 2006. American Society of Agronomy, Crop Science Society of America, Soil Science SocietyASA, CSSA, SSSA