Quantifying the contribution of pulse crop residues to greenhouse gas emissions, nitrogen nutrition and the growth of a subsequent wheat crop: A dual isotope labeling approach
- Faba Beans
- Soil Health
- University of Saskatchewan
Dr. Richard Farrell
Lead Investigator(s) Institution
University of Saskatchewan - Dept. of Soil Sciences
To calculate a residue-induced nitrous oxide (N2O) emission factor for the major pulse crops and wheat grown in Saskatchewan. To provide a side-by-side comparison of biological nitrogen fixation (BNF) and net N2O and CO2 budgets from the major pulse crops (and a wheat control) grown in Saskatchewan. To determine the partitioning of nitrogen (N) and carbon (C) in above- and below-ground residues from different pulses to soil organic matter (SOM) pools. To determine the total contribution (mass balance) of residue-derived N and C into SOM pools and into the biomass growth of a subsequent wheat crop in rotation with the pulses.
Wheat grown after the pulses yielded 5% to 25% higher than wheat after wheat. The greatest increases (15– 25%) occurred on lentil and pea residues. Nitrogen (N) content of wheat seed was 5% and 10% greater following lentiland pea. In general, 4% to 6% of above-ground nitrogen and 6% to 12% of below-ground nitrogen in pulse residues was exported with wheat seed. 20% to 30% of urea-nitrogen was recovered in wheat. Overall, pulse residues contributed 6.5 to 16.0 kg nitrogen ha-1 to wheat. Nitrous oxide fluxes during the wheat year were greater when the previous crop was a pulse vs wheat. Emissions over the four-year experiment were highest from fertilized wheat, lentil and chickpea residues and lowest from pea and faba bean residues. Below-ground residues contributed 21% of nitrogen 2O-nitrogen vs 12% from above-ground residues and 22% from soil nitrogen. The most nitrogen 2O from pulse residues was released during spring thaw— indicating that considerable nitrogen mineralization occurred after harvest. On average, more carbon dioxide (CO2) was emitted during the pulse phase (5.46 Mg CO2-C ha-1) than the wheat phase (4.50 Mg CO2-C ha-1). Above-ground residues generally resulted in 2-3 times more CO2 than below-ground residues. In short, growing a pulse crop before wheat provided a yield benefit to wheat which was partially due to the N provided from residue decomposition. Pea and lentil residues underwent more extensive decomposition postharvest than chickpea and faba bean residues and contributed more to wheat yield. However, it appears that this enhanced decomposition also means more N2O was produced, especially with the lentil below-ground residue.
Duration/Timeline of Project (Year to Year)
2014 - 2018
Saskatchewan Ministry of Agriculture - Agriculture Development Fund, Western Grains Research Foundation