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Nitrogen fertilization raises CO₂ efflux from inorganic carbon : A global assessment

Title data

Zamanian, Kazem ; Zarebanadkouki, Mohsen ; Kuzyakov, Kuzyakov:
Nitrogen fertilization raises CO₂ efflux from inorganic carbon : A global assessment.
In: Global Change Biology. Vol. 24 (2018) Issue 7 . - pp. 2810-2817.
ISSN 1365-2486
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1111/gcb.14148

Abstract in another language

Nitrogen (N) fertilization is an indispensable agricultural practice worldwide, serving the survival of half of the global population. Nitrogen transformation (e.g., nitrification) in soil as well as plant N uptake releases protons and increases soil acidification. Neutralizing this acidity in carbonate‐containing soils (7.49 × 10⁹ ha; ca. 54% of the global land surface area) leads to a CO₂ release corresponding to 0.21 kg C per kg of applied N. We here for the first time raise this problem of acidification of carbonate‐containing soils and assess the global CO₂ release from pedogenic and geogenic carbonates in the upper 1 m soil depth. Based on a global N‐fertilization map and the distribution of soils containing CaCO₃, we calculated the CO₂ amount released annually from the acidification of such soils to be 7.48 × 10¹² g C/year. This level of continuous CO₂ release will remain constant at least until soils are fertilized by N. Moreover, we estimated that about 273 × 10¹² g CO₂‐C are released annually in the same process of CaCO₃ neutralization but involving liming of acid soils. These two CO₂ sources correspond to 3% of global CO₂ emissions by fossil fuel combustion or 30% of CO₂ by land‐use changes. Importantly, the duration of CO₂ release after land‐use changes usually lasts only 1–3 decades before a new C equilibrium is reached in soil. In contrast, the CO₂ released by CaCO₃ acidification cannot reach equilibrium, as long as N fertilizer is applied until it becomes completely neutralized. As the CaCO₃ amounts in soils, if present, are nearly unlimited, their complete dissolution and CO₂ release will take centuries or even millennia. This emphasizes the necessity of preventing soil acidification in N‐fertilized soils as an effective strategy to inhibit millennia of CO₂ efflux to the atmosphere. Hence, N fertilization should be strictly calculated based on plant‐demand, and overfertilization should be avoided not only because N is a source of local and regional eutrophication, but also because of the continuous CO₂ release by global acidification.

Further data

Item Type: Article in a journal
Refereed: Yes
Additional notes: BAYCEER150052
Institutions of the University: Faculties > Faculty of Biology, Chemistry and Earth Sciences
Faculties > Faculty of Biology, Chemistry and Earth Sciences > Department of Earth Sciences
Faculties > Faculty of Biology, Chemistry and Earth Sciences > Department of Earth Sciences > Chair Soil Physics
Faculties > Faculty of Biology, Chemistry and Earth Sciences > Department of Earth Sciences > Chair Soil Physics > Chair Soil Physics - Univ.-Prof. Dr. Andrea Carminati
Research Institutions
Research Institutions > Research Centres
Research Institutions > Research Centres > Bayreuth Center of Ecology and Environmental Research- BayCEER
Result of work at the UBT: Yes
DDC Subjects: 500 Science
Date Deposited: 05 Apr 2019 11:55
Last Modified: 05 Apr 2019 11:55
URI: https://eref.uni-bayreuth.de/id/eprint/48285