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Journal of Environmental Quality Abstract - Atmospheric Pollutants and Trace Gases

Methane Oxidation in Freely and Poorly Drained Grassland Soils and Effects of Cattle Urine Application


This article in JEQ

  1. Vol. 36 No. 5, p. 1241-1248
    Received: June 20, 2006

    * Corresponding author(s): lizh@landcareresearch.co.nz
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  1. Zheng Li * and
  2. Francis M. Kelliher
  1. Manaaki Whenua-Landcare Research, P.O. Box 40, Lincoln 7640, New Zealand


A sink for atmospheric methane (CH4) is microbial oxidation in soils. We report CH4 oxidation rates in freely and poorly drained soils on an intensively managed dairy farm. Following cattle urine application to half the plots (650 kg of nitrogen [N] ha−1) 31 chamber measurements were made over 100 d during autumn and winter. In the control plots, the freely and poorly drained soils' integrated CH4 oxidation rates averaged 1.8 ± 0.2 and 0.6 ± 0.1 kg CH4 ha−1 yr−1, respectively. In the poorly drained soil, the highest CH4 oxidation rates occurred when water-filled pore space (WFPS) < 56% and CH4 oxidation rate declined by ninefold to near zero as WFPS increased from 56 to 68%. Urine application induced the freely and poorly drained soils' CH4 oxidation rates to decline for up to 2 mo by 0.7 ± 0.2 and 0.4 ± 0.1 kg CH4 ha−1 yr−1, respectively. The two soils' responses were thus not significantly different. After urine application, soil pore space CH4 concentration profiles suggested a simultaneous inhibition of bacteria that were CH4 oxidizers and stimulation of CH4 producers.

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Copyright © 2007. American Society of Agronomy, Crop Science Society of America, Soil Science SocietyAmerican Society of Agronomy, Crop Science Society of America, and Soil Science Society of America