Responses of crop productivity and reactive nitrogen losses to the application of animal manure to China's main crops: A meta-analysis

A - Papers appearing in refereed journals

Ren, F., Sun, N., Misselbrook, T. H., Wu, L., Xu, M., Zhang, F. and Xu, W. 2022. Responses of crop productivity and reactive nitrogen losses to the application of animal manure to China's main crops: A meta-analysis. Science of the Total Environment. 850, p. 158064. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2022.158064

AuthorsRen, F., Sun, N., Misselbrook, T. H., Wu, L., Xu, M., Zhang, F. and Xu, W.
Abstract

The effective utilization of manure in cropland systems is essential to sustain yields and reduce reactive nitrogen (Nr) losses. However, there are still uncertainties regarding the substitution of mineral nitrogen (N) fertilizer with manure in terms of its effects on crop yield and Nr losses. We conducted a comprehensive meta-analysis of wheat, maize, and rice applications in China and discovered that substituting mineral N fertilizer with manure increased wheat and maize yields by 4.9 and 5.5 %, respectively, but decreased rice yield by 1.7 %. The increase of yield is larger at low N application and low mineral N substitution rates ((SR) ≤30 %) for silt soils, warm regions, and acidic soils. High SR (>70 %) decreased rice yield as well as the N use efficiency of wheat and maize. Substitution of mineral N fertilizer with manure resulted in lower NH3 volatilization for wheat (48.7 %), lower N2O and NH3 emissions, and N runoff for maize (12.8, 49.6, and 66.7 %, respectively), and lower total Nr losses for rice (11.3–26.5 %). The loss of Nr was significantly and negatively correlated with soil organic carbon content. The rate of N application, soil properties, and climate were critical factors influencing N2O and NH3 emissions and N leaching, whereas climate or soil properties were the dominant factors influencing response in N runoff. We concluded that in silt soils, warm regions, and neutral soils, a ≤ 50 % substitution of mineral N fertilizer with manure can sustain crop yields while mitigating Nr losses.

KeywordsLivestock manure; Substituting manure for fertilizer; Crop productivity; Reactive N losses; Meta-analysis
Year of Publication2022
JournalScience of the Total Environment
Journal citation850, p. 158064
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2022.158064
Open accessPublished as non-open access
FunderBiotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council
Funder project or codeBBS/E/C00010320
Output statusPublished
Publication dates
Online15 Aug 2022
Publication process dates
Accepted12 Aug 2022
PublisherElsevier Science Bv
ISSN0048-9697

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