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Improved fertiliser management to reduce the greenhouse-gas emissions and ensure yields in a wheat-peanut relay intercropping system in China.

Authors: Liu, Z., Zhao, C., Zhao, J., Lai, H., & Li, X. Journal: Environmental Science and Pollution Research International Year: 2021
Fruits: Peanuts
Subject: Sustainability

Over the last century, anthropogenic greenhouse-gas (GHG) emissions have changed the global climate, and agriculture plays an important role in the global flux of GHG. Agricultural management practices, such as split N applications and the use of controlled-release fertilisers have significantly increased the crop yield and N-use efficiency by balancing the N demand of crops and the N availability of soils. However, the impacts of these practices on GHG emissions (in particular in wheat-peanut relay intercropping systems) have not been evaluated in detail. In this study, a common compound fertiliser and a controlled release compound fertiliser (CRF) were used the day prior to sowing, at the jointing stage of wheat and at the peanut anthesis stage in ratios of 50-50-0% (JCF100), 35-35-30% (JCF70) and 35-35-30% (JCRF70), with a control treatment of 0 kg ha-1. The findings demonstrated that treatment JCF70 achieved increases in yields of 9.7% and 14.6% for wheat grain and peanut pod, respectively, compared to treatment JCF100; however, this treatment also significantly increased soil emissions of CO2 and N2O. In addition, cumulative emissions of CO2 and N2O were higher in the peanut growing season by 74.4 and 31.7%, respectively, than in the wheat growing season owing to the relatively higher soil temperature during the former season. Fertilisation combined with irrigation, was found to be the main cause of GHG emissions. Under the same fertiliser rate and N-management style, JCRF70 further increased the yield of peanut pods and the total combined yield of peanut and wheat by 10.3% and 8.9%, respectively, compared to treatment JCF70. The cumulative CO2 and N2O emissions in treatment JCRF70 were 20.4-45.4% less than those in treatment JCF70. The total global warming potentials of CO2 and N2O were lowest in treatment JCRF70 owing to it providing the highest grain yield. Therefore, N application with three splits, together with the use of a slow-release fertiliser, may be a simple and effective approach to enhance the grain yield whilst reducing the GHG emissions.

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