Nitrogen leaching and indirect nitrous oxide emissions from fertilized croplands in Zimbabwe

Mapanda, F and Wuta, M and Nyamangara, J and Rees, R M (2012) Nitrogen leaching and indirect nitrous oxide emissions from fertilized croplands in Zimbabwe. Nutrient Cycling in Agroecosystems, 94. pp. 85-96. ISSN 1573-0867

[img] PDF - Published Version
Restricted to ICRISAT users only

Download (429kB) | Request a copy


Agricultural efforts to end hunger in Africa are hampered by low fertilizer-use-efficiency exposing applied nutrients to losses. This constitutes economic losses and environmental concerns related to leaching and greenhouse gas emissions. The effects of NH4NO3 (0, 60 and 120 kg N ha-1) on N uptake, N-leaching and indirect N2O emissions were studied during three maize (Zea mays L.) cropping seasons on clay (Chromic luvisol) and sandy loam (Haplic lixisol) soils in Zimbabwe. Leaching was measured using lysimeters, while indirect N2O emissions were calculated from leached N using the emission factor methodology. Results showed accelerated N-leaching (3–26 kg ha-1 season-1) and N-uptake (10–92 kg ha-1) with N input. Leached N in groundwater had potential to produce emission increments of 0–94 g N2O-N ha-1 season-1 on clay soil, and 5–133 g N2ON ha-1 season-1 on sandy loam soil following the application of NH4NO3. In view of this short-term response intensive cropping using relatively high N rate may be more appropriate for maize in areas whose soils and climatic conditions are similar to those investigated in this study, compared with using lower N rates or no N over relatively larger areas to attain a targeted food security level.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Fertilizer, Leaching, Lysimeter, Maize, Nitrogen, Nitrous oxide
Subjects: Others > Fertilizer Applications
Depositing User: Mr Siva Shankar
Date Deposited: 27 Aug 2012 05:58
Last Modified: 05 Oct 2012 07:03
Official URL:
Projects: NitroEurope Project No. 017841
Funders: European Union
Acknowledgement: Also grateful for the technical assistance from the Department of Physics (University of Zimbabwe).
View Statistics

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item