Combined application of organic manure with urea does not alter the dominant biochemical pathway producing N2O from urea treated soil

Saadatullah Malghani, Ga young Yoo, Anette Giesemann, Reinhard Well, Hojeong Kang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


Combined application of organic amendment with synthetic fertilizer is an emerging management technique for maximized agronomic benefits without drastic soil health effects. However, little attention has been paid to the environmental costs of such management as the primary focus has remained on agronomic outcomes. In present study, we investigated the impacts of three organic amendments including dairy cattle manure (20 t/ha), poultry manure (20 t/ha), and a biochar (30 t/ha) applied along with urea (55 kg-N/ha) on soil N2O fluxes and explored the mechanisms behind N2O emissions. Plots with urea-only application were used as a control. For source partitioning of soil-emitted N2O, we used isotopocule mapping approach. The results showed significantly higher N2O emission rates from manure-treated plots compared with biochar or control treatments plots. The cumulative N2O emissions rates for 125 days from control, biochar, dairy cattle, and poultry treatments were 0.76, 0.70, 0.96, and 1.05 kg N2O-N/ha, respectively. Isotopocule mapping approach revealed that bacterial denitrification was the dominant pathway for temporal high N2O emission events as the fractions of bacterial denitrification ranged between 0.5 and 0.9 among treatments. Soil DNA-based Q-PCR assays showed significant increase in abundance of NO2 reducing denitrifiers in dairy cattle and poultry treated plots suggesting acceleration in N2O emissions was due to shift in the molecular ratios of (nirS + nirK)/nosZ denitrifying bacterial community. In contrast to manure treatments, the combined application of biochar along fertilizer significantly improved soil C contents with a slight decrease in N2O emission rates. Therefore, biochar appeared to be the best option to minimize soil quality loss without additional environmental cost.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)331-343
Number of pages13
JournalBiology and Fertility of Soils
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2020 Apr 1

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by the Korea Research Fellowship Program through the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) funded by the Ministry of Science and ICT (KRF project).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2019, Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature.

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Microbiology
  • Agronomy and Crop Science
  • Soil Science


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