Now showing 1 - 4 of 4
  • Publication
    Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Crop Yields From Winter Oilseed Rape Cropping Systems are Unaffected by Management Practices
    Winter oilseed rape is traditionally established via plough-based soil cultivation and conventional sowing methods. Whilst there is potential to adopt lower cost, and less intensive establishment systems, the impact of these on greenhouse gas emissions have not been evaluated. To address this, field experiments were conducted in 2014/2015 and 2015/2016 to investigate the effects of 1) crop establishment method and 2) sowing method on soil greenhouse gas emissions from a winter oilseed rape crop grown in Ireland. Soil carbon dioxide, nitrous oxide and methane emission measurements were carried out using the static chamber method. Yield (t seed ha−1) and the yield-scaled global warming potential (kg CO2-eq. kg−1 seed) were also determined for each management practice. During crop establishment, conventional tillage induced an initially rapid loss of carbon dioxide (2.34 g C m−2 hr−1) compared to strip tillage (0.94 g C m−2 hr−1) or minimum tillage (0.16 g C m−2 hr−1) (p < 0.05), although this decreased to background values within a few hours. In the crop establishment trial, the cumulative greenhouse gas emissions were, apart from methane, unaffected by tillage management when sown at a conventional (125 mm) or wide (600 mm) row spacing. In the sowing method trial, cumulative carbon dioxide emissions were also 21% higher when plants were sown at 10 seeds m−2 compared to 60 seeds m−2 (p < 0.05). Row spacing width (125 and 750 mm) and variety (conventional and semi-dwarf) were found to have little effect on greenhouse gas emissions and differences in seed yield between the sowing treatments were small. Overall, management practices had no consistent effect on soil greenhouse gas emissions and modifications in seed yield per plant countered differences in planting density.
      51Scopus© Citations 8
  • Publication
    Constructed wetlands for environmental pollution control : a review of developments, research and practice in Ireland
    For the purpose of synthesizing a compendium of efforts aimed at environmental pollution control through the use of constructed wetlands systems (CWs) in Ireland, a detailed review of CWs was undertaken. Emphasis was placed on the diverse range of development, practice and researches on CWs technology, placing them in the overall context of the need for low-cost and sustainable wastewater treatment systems. The potential use of CWs in protecting estuarine quality within the current legislative framework is considered, as well as the emerging concept of integrated constructed wetlands (ICWs). In addition, an assessment of the efficiency of CWs in operation in Ireland towards abating environmental pollution was done, and compared with CWs operating in other European countries. The need for sufficient and appropriate data to assist in further development of CWs and modelling studies, and instilling confidence in the public is also highlighted.
      11197Scopus© Citations 164
  • Publication
    Assessing the impact of long-term soil phosphorus on N-transformation pathways using 15N tracing
    A laboratory incubation study was conducted on a temperate grassland soil to quantify the main mineral nitrogen (N) transformation rates and pathways via a15N tracing approach. Soil samples were taken from a long-term phosphorus (P) trial to investigate the effects on gross N-transformations under high and low phosphorus amendment. The soils were incubated over a 2-week period and treated with ammonium-nitrate (NH4NO3) which was applied to the soil both with and without a glucose amendment and labelled with 15N either on the ammonium (NH4+) or nitrate (NO3−) moiety at 50% atom enrichment. The results showed immobilisation to greatly outweigh mineralisation and that NO3− was predominantly produced via heterotrophic nitrification. Individual pathways for NO3− production were quantified including oxidation of NH4+, recalcitrant and labile organic N. Oxidation of labile organic N to NO3−, a newly considered pathway, accounted for between 63 and 83% of total NO3− production across the various treatments and P levels. This process was significantly higher in the low-P rather than the high-P soils (p < 0.05), highlighting the effect of soil P on the microbial community.
      314Scopus© Citations 18
  • Publication
    Assessment of nitrous oxide emission factors for arable and grassland ecosystems
    We quantified seasonal nitrous oxide (N2O) emissions and the associated emission factors (EFs) from: (i) winter oilseed rape (WOSR) cultivated under conventional tillage (CT) and strip tillage (ST) at four fertilizer rates (0, 160, 240 and 320 kg N ha−1) in 2014/2015, and (ii) grassland plots receiving no fertilizer (0 kg N ha−1), or mineral nitrogen (67 kg N ha−1), and either cattle or pig slurry (50, 100 and 200 m3 ha−1). Greater fluxes were observed at higher soil temperatures and a higher water filled pore space, suggesting that denitrification was the main source of N2O-N from the applied fertilizer/slurry. For WOSR, the N2O EFs ranged from 0.03 to 1.20% with no effect of the cultivation practice on EFs for equal rates of nitrogen fertilizer. Lower EF values were linked to differences in plant growth at individual sites rather than a specific management effect. For the grassland, the N2O EFs were highly variable, ranging from −0.70 to 0.49%, but were generally the highest in treatments receiving the highest concentrations of slurry. The EF values for WOSR illustrates that the Tier 1 approach for calculating EFs may be inadequate and the identification of site-specific effects can aid in refining N2O EF inventories. For the grassland plots all the EFs were significantly lower than the IPCC default values. Although the reason(s) for the low EFs with slurry amendments on grassland is not known, ammonia volatilization could decrease the pool of inorganic N that is available to nitrifying bacteria thereby lowering N2O fluxes.
      188Scopus© Citations 7