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Highlight of the “EJA paper of the month” (#26 - November 2016)
Nov02

Highlight of the “EJA paper of the month” (#26 - November 2016)

The new nitrification inhibitor 3,4-dimethylpyrazole succinic (DMPSA) as an alternative to DMPP for reducing N2O emissions from wheat crops under humid Mediterranean conditions

By Ximena Huérfano, Teresa Fuertes-Mendizábal, Kevin Fernández-Diez, José María Estavillo, Carmen González-Murua, Sergio Menéndez
 
European Journal of Agronomy, volume 80, October 2016, Pages 78-97

 


This is an important paper in the context of technical methods to reduce GHG emissions from cereals. Globally these give about 14% of total GHG emissions on a CO2 eq. basis  - about the same as transport. No solution to limit warming to under 2degC above pre-industrial will be possible without reducing emissions from food and fodder production. The new DMPSA inhibitor was shown to reduce N2O emissions to levels found in the unfertilized control treatments in wheat and to about the same level as earlier inhibitors such as DMPP. The paper is important for the EJA as it shows our engagement with cutting-edge technological developments to limit N based GHG emissions.
John Porter, EJA chief editor
The new nitrification inhibitor 3,4-dimethylpyrazole succinic (DMPSA) as an alternative to DMPP for reducing N2O emissions from wheat crops under humid Mediterranean conditions

By Ximena Huérfano, Teresa Fuertes-Mendizábal, Kevin Fernández-Diez, José María Estavillo, Carmen González-Murua, Sergio Menéndez
Department of Plant Biology and Ecology, University of the Basque Country (UPV/EHU), Apdo. 644, E-48080 Bilbao, Spain

Nowadays agricultural practices are based in the use of N fertilizers which can lead to environmental N losses. These losses can occur as nitrous oxide (N2O) emissions as result of the microbial processes of nitrification and denitrification. N2O together with carbon dioxide (CO2) and methane (CH4) are the strongest greenhouse gases (GHG) associated with agricultural soils. Nitrification inhibitors (NI) have been developed with the aim of decreasing fertilizer-induced N losses and increasing N efficiency.In addition, the use of NIs allows a single fertilization event due to the higher persistence of N in soil after their use. One of the most popular NIs is 3,4-dimethylpyrazol phosphate (DMPP), whose application has proven to be an advisable strategy to mitigate GHG emissions while maintaining crops yield. The objective of this study was to compare the impact of the new nitrification inhibitor 3,4-dimethylpyrazol succinic (DMPSA) on greenhouse gases emissions, wheat yield and grain protein with respect to DMPP. For this purpose a field-experiment was carried out for two years. Wheat plants (Triticum aestivum L., var. Cezanne) were sown on 16th November 2012 and on 11st November 2013. Fertilizer dose, with and without NIs, was 180 kg N ha−1 applied as ammonium sulphate (AS) split in two applications of 60 kg N ha−1 and 120 kg N ha−1 at tillering and stem elongation, respectively. A single application at tillering of 180 kg N ha-1 of AS with NIs was also made. An unfertilized treatment was also included.Greenhouse gas emissions (N2O, CO2 and CH4) were measured using closed chambers and analysed by gas chromatography.The new nitrification inhibitor DMPSA reduces N2O emissions up to levels of the unfertilized control treatment maintaining the yield and its components. DMPSA shows the same behavior as DMPP in relation to N2O fluxes, as well as wheat yield and quality. In spite of applying a double dose of N at stem elongation than at tillering, N2O losses from that period are lower than at tillering as a consequence of the influence of soil temperature (6ºC at tillering vs. 11ºC at stem elongation) reducing the N2O/N2 ratio by denitrification. Fertilizations with NIs always show N2O emissions similar to the unfertilized treatment, so NIs efficiency in reducing N2O losses is determined by the magnitude of the losses from the AS treatment.

 

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