16 Oct 2023
 | 16 Oct 2023

Nitrifier denitrification potentially dominates N2O production in a sandy soil – results from different fertilization and irigation regimes in potato cropping in Germany

Laura Charlotte Storch, Katharina Schulz, Jana Marie Kraft, Annette Prochnow, Liliane Ruess, Benjamin Trost, and Susanne Theuerl

Abstract. Spatial and temporal distribution of water and nitrogen supply affects soil-borne nitrous oxide (N2O) emissions. In this study, the effects of different irrigation technologies (no irrigation, sprinkler irrigation and drip irrigation) and nitrogen (N) application types (broadcasted and dissolved in irrigation water) on N2O emissions and the potentially underlying, genetically determined microbial processes were investigated over an entire season in potato cropping. N2O fluxes were highest during the first half of the season and mostly affected by the applied water volume rather than the N application types. The comparison of the different water application types revealed that nitrifier denitrification might potentially be the dominant source of N2O emissions, especially under sprinkler irrigation. The type of N fertilizer supply, broadcasted application or dissolved in irrigation water, showed only minor differences in the potential microbial community functionality. N2O production in both treatments was most likely also dominated by nitrifier denitrification, while the process of denitrification might be feasible too. Even though the current agronomic management measures generally meet the crop demand of water and N, it might be recommendable to adapt the time of application considering that potatoes mainly require N at later growth stages which could also reduce N2O emissions at the same time. 

Laura Charlotte Storch et al.

Status: final response (author comments only)

Comment types: AC – author | RC – referee | CC – community | EC – editor | CEC – chief editor | : Report abuse
  • RC1: 'Comment on egusphere-2023-2277', Anonymous Referee #1, 13 Nov 2023
  • RC2: 'Comment on egusphere-2023-2277', Anonymous Referee #2, 25 Nov 2023

Laura Charlotte Storch et al.

Laura Charlotte Storch et al.


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Short summary
N2O emissions are affected by agricultural practices. Therefore the effects of irrigation and fertilization on the potential bacterial N2O production were investigated over an entire season in sandy soil. Highest N2O fluxes occurred along first half of the season with greater influence of irrigation. Functional gene analysis identified nitrifier denitrification as predominant N2O source. An adapted application of water and N, considering the different growth stages might reduce N2O emissions.