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Agronomy 2012, 2(3), 167-186; doi:10.3390/agronomy2030167
Article

N2O Emission and Mineral N Release in a Tropical Acrisol Incorporated with Mixed Cowpea and Maize Residues

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Received: 31 May 2012 / Revised: 25 June 2012 / Accepted: 26 June 2012 / Published: 10 July 2012
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Abstract

A laboratory microcosm incubation was conducted to study the influence of mixed cowpea-maize residues on N2O emission and N mineralization in a tropical acrisol. The soils were incorporated with different ratios of cowpea:maize mixtures on weight basis: 100:0, 75:25, 50:50, 25:75 and 0:100, and a control treatment in which there was no residue incorporation. The results show that N2O and CO2 emissions were higher in the sole cowpea treatment (100:0) than the sole maize treatment (0:100) and the control. However, cowpea-maize residue mixtures increased the proportion of N lost as N2O compared to the sole treatments. This interactive effect was highest in the 75:25 treatment. The 50:50 treatment showed moderate N2O emission compared to the 100:0, 75:25 and 25:75 treatments but with corresponding steady N mineralization and appreciable mineral N concentration. It is concluded that mixing cowpea-maize residues might increase the proportion of N lost as N2O in a tropical acrisol. However, compared to the other residue mixture treatments, mixing cowpea-maize residues in equal proportions on weight basis might offer a path to reducing N2O emissions while maintaining a steady N mineralization without risking good N supply in acrisols. The study therefore offers potential for mitigating greenhouse gas emissions while maintaining soil fertility in tropical acrisols. However, further studies under both laboratory and field conditions will be required to verify and validate this claim.
Keywords: cowpea-maize residue; nitrous oxide emission; N mineralization; tropical acrisol cowpea-maize residue; nitrous oxide emission; N mineralization; tropical acrisol
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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Frimpong, K.A.; Yawson, D.O.; Agyarko, K.; Baggs, E.M. N2O Emission and Mineral N Release in a Tropical Acrisol Incorporated with Mixed Cowpea and Maize Residues. Agronomy 2012, 2, 167-186.

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