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Soil Science Society of America Journal Abstract - DIVISION S-8—NUTRIENT MANAGEMENT & SOIL & PLANT ANALYSIS

Carbon Dioxide and Nitrous Oxide Emissions following Fall and Spring Applications of Pig Slurry to an Agricultural Soil


This article in SSSAJ

  1. Vol. 68 No. 4, p. 1410-1420
    Received: Dec 31, 2002

    * Corresponding author(s): rochettep@agr.gc.ca
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  1. Philippe Rochette *a,
  2. Denis A. Angersa,
  3. Martin H. Chantignya,
  4. Normand Bertranda and
  5. Denis Côtéb
  1. a Soils and Crops Research and Development Centre, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, 2560 Hochelaga Blvd., Sainte-Foy, QC, Canada, G1V 2J3
    b Institut de Recherche et de Développement en Agroenvironnement, Complexe Scientifique, 2700 rue Einstein, Sainte-Foy, QC, Canada, G1P 3W8


In Québec, most pig slurry is applied to agricultural soils in the spring and fall. A study was initiated to compare the impact of the contrasting spring and fall weather conditions on CO2 and N2O emissions, and on the transformation of pig slurry C and N in a loamy soil cropped to maize (Zea mays L.). Treatments were approximately 200 kg total N ha−1 either as a spring (SPRING) or fall (FALL) application of pig slurry, and 150 kg N ha−1 as NH4NO3 (control). Fluxes of CO2 and N2O, and soil O2, CO2, N2O, NH4 +, NO3 , extractable C and microbial biomass C (MBC) contents were measured 50 times over a 1-yr period. Fluxes of N2O were generally low during the experiment but were greatly increased in recently manured soils when soil O2 concentration fell below 0.20 mol mol−1 Soil was warm and well-aerated following spring slurry application. Under these conditions, slurry NH4–N was rapidly nitrified and high N2O emissions attributed to denitrification occurred when soil was rewetted by abundant rainfall. For the fall applied slurry, wet and cool conditions limited net nitrification and resulted in little accumulation of NO3–N, thus limiting potential for subsequent denitrification and N2O emissions. Cumulated N2O emissions during the experiment represented 1.74, 2.73, and 1.14% of added N in the FALL, SPRING, and NH4NO3 plots, respectively. Fluxes of CO2 and cumulated CO2–C losses were also greater for SPRING than for FALL application. Our results clearly show that the impacts of the timing of animal manure application on N2O emissions cannot be generalized, but will vary between years in response to interactions between crop, climatic, and soil factors.

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