The potential of organic fertilizers and water management to reduce N2O emissions in Mediterranean climate cropping systems. A review - Archive ouverte HAL Access content directly
Journal Articles Agriculture, Ecosystems and Environment Year : 2013

The potential of organic fertilizers and water management to reduce N2O emissions in Mediterranean climate cropping systems. A review

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Eduardo Aguilera
Alberto Sanz-Cobena
Antonio Vallejo
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Abstract

Environmental problems related to the use of synthetic fertilizers and to organic waste management have led to increased interest in the use of organic materials as an alternative source of nutrients for crops, but this is also associated with N2O emissions. There has been an increasing amount of research into the effects of using different types of fertilization on N2O emissions under Mediterranean climatic conditions, but the findings have sometimes been rather contradictory. Available information also suggests that water management could exert a high influence on N2O emissions. In this context, we have reviewed the current scientific knowledge, including an analysis of the effect of fertilizer type and water management on direct N2O emissions. A meta-analysis of compliant reviewed experiments revealed significantly lower N2O emissions for organic as opposed to synthetic fertilizers (23% reduction). When organic materials were segregated in solid and liquid, only solid organic fertilizer emissions were significantly lower than those of synthetic fertilizers (28% reduction in cumulative emissions). The EF is similar to the IPCC factor in conventionally irrigated systems (0.98% N2O-N N applied(-1)), but one order of magnitude lower in rainfed systems (0.08%). Drip irrigation produces intermediate emission levels (0.66%). Differences are driven by Mediterranean agro-climatic characteristics, which include low soil organic matter (SOM) content and a distinctive rainfall and temperature pattern. Interactions between environmental and management factors and the microbial processes involved in N2O emissions are discussed in detail. Indirect emissions have not been fully accounted for, but when organic fertilizers are applied at similar N rates to synthetic fertilizers, they generally make smaller contributions to the leached NO3- pool. The most promising practices for reducing N2O through organic fertilization include: (i) minimizing water applications; (ii) minimizing bare soil; (iii) improving waste management; and (iv) tightening N cycling through N immobilization. The mitigation potential may be limited by: (i) residual effect; (ii) the long-term effects of fertilizers on SOM; (iii) lower yield-scaled performance; and (iv) total N availability from organic sources. Knowledge gaps identified in the review included: (i) insufficient sampling periods; (ii) high background emissions; (iii) the need to provide N2O EF and yield-scaled EF; (iv) the need for more research on specific cropping systems; and (v) the need for full GHG balances. In conclusion, the available information suggests a potential of organic fertilizers and water-saving practices to mitigate N2O emissions under Mediterranean climatic conditions, although further research is needed before it can be regarded as fully proven, understood and developed. (C) 2012 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

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hal-01194704 , version 1 (07-09-2015)

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Eduardo Aguilera, Luis Lassaletta, Alberto Sanz-Cobena, Josette Garnier, Antonio Vallejo. The potential of organic fertilizers and water management to reduce N2O emissions in Mediterranean climate cropping systems. A review. Agriculture, Ecosystems and Environment, 2013, 164, pp.32-52. ⟨10.1016/j.agee.2012.09.006⟩. ⟨hal-01194704⟩
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