Canadian Forest Service Publications
N2O emissions and carbon sequestration in a nitrogen-fertilized Douglas fir stand. 2008. Jassal, R.S.; Black, T.A.; Chen, B.; Roy, R.; Nesic, Z.; Spittlehouse, D.L.; Trofymow, J.A. Journal of Geophysical Research 113: G04013.
Issued by: Pacific Forestry Centre
Catalog ID: 28995
Available from the Journal's Web site. †
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This study investigated how nitrogen (N) fertilization with 200 kg N/ha of a 58-year-old West Coast Douglas fir stand influenced its net greenhouse gas (GHG) global warming potential (GWP) in the first year after fertilization. Effects of fertilization on GHG GWP were calculated considering changes in soil N2O emissions, measured using the static chamber technique and the soil N2O gradient technique; eddy covariance (EC) measured net ecosystem productivity (NEP); and energy requirements of fertilizer production, transport, and its aerial spreading. We found significant N2O losses in fertilized plots compared to a small uptake in nonfertilized plots. Chamber-measured N loss in the fertilized plots was about 16 kg N2O/ha in the first year, which is equivalent to 10 kg N/ha or 5% of the applied fertilizer N. Soil N2O emissions measured using the gradient technique, however, exceeded the chamber measurements by about 50%. We also compared a polymer-coated slow-release urea with regular urea and found that the former delayed N2O emissions but the year-end total loss was about the same as that from regular urea. Change in NEP due to fertilization was determined by relating annual NEP for the nonfertilized stand to environmental controls using an empirical and a process-based model. Annual NEP increased by 64%, from 326 g C m-2, calculated assuming that the stand was not fertilized, to the measured value of 535 g C m-2 with fertilization. At the end of the year, net change in GHG GWP was -2.28 t CO2 /ha compared to what it would have been without fertilization, thereby indicating favorable effect of fertilization even in the first year after fertilization with significant emissions of N2O.