Mitigation of N2O emissions using conservation tillage in vegetable fields transitioning to organic productions
Nitrous oxide, or N2O, is one of the most important non-CO2 (carbon dioxide) greenhouse gases (Reay et al. 2012). N2O emission has been a topic of increasing controversy, particularly in the discussion of biofuels, as agricultural production is one of its primary anthropogenic sources (Crutzen et al. 2008). Although N2O is a natural byproduct of the nitrogen cycle, many agricultural practices lead to increased N2O emissions. For example, the addition of fertilizer adds more nitrogen into the system, and conventional tillage may increase the transport rate of N2O from the soil (Chatskikh and Olesen 2007). What management practices, then, could a farmer use to reduce N2O emissions from their crop systems? Dr. Chen’s research centers on this question, and how it relates specifically to organic farming techniques.
If interested in learning more about Dr. Chen’s research on N2O emissions in agricultural fields, be on the lookout for a publication in the near future!
Chatskikh, D. and J. E. Olesen. 2007. Soil tillage enhanced CO2 and N2O emissions from loamy sand soil under spring barley. Soil and Tillage Research 97: 5-18.
Crutzen, P.J., A.R. Mosier, K.A. Smith, & W. Winiwarter. 2008. N2O release from agro-biofuel production negates global warming reduction by replacing fossil fuels. Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics 8: 389-395.
Reay, D.S., E.A. Davidson, K.A. Smith, P. Smith, J.M. Melillo, F. Dentener, & P.J. Crutzen. 2012. Global agriculture and nitrous oxide emissions. Nature Climate Change 2: 410-416.
Becca Eckert is a Ph.D. student working with Bill Lamp. She is interested in the interactions between and amongst algae, macroinvertebrates, and nutrients in streams.
Becca Wilson is a Ph.D. student in Bill Lamp’s lab. She is researching the distribution patterns of nuisance black flies in western Maryland and their impact on human quality of life.