Oxygen regulates nitrous oxide production directly in agricultural soils

The effects of in situ oxygen (O2) dynamics on nitrous oxide (N2O) production was investigated in a typical intensively managed Chinese cropping system under a range of environmental conditions (temperature, moisture, ammonium, nitrate, carbon etc.). Soil O2 concentration was the most significant factor correlating with soil N2O concentration compared with other environmental factors.

Soil N2O concentration increased exponentially with decreasing soil O2 concentrations. The exponential model of N treatments predicted 74- 90% of variance in soil N2O concentrations. This study offers new opportunities for developing more sensitive approaches to predicting and through appropriate management interventions mitigating N2O emissions from agricultural soils.