2023 Cakraborty Nitrification and urease inhibitors mitigate global warming potential and ammonia volatilization from urea in rice-wheat system in India: A field to lab experiment
The efficacy of alternative nitrogenous fertilizers for mitigating greenhouse gas and ammonia emissions from a rice-wheat cropping system in northern India was addressed in a laboratory incubation experiment using soil from a 10-year residue management field experiment (crop residue removal, CRR, vs. incorporation, CRI). Neem coated urea (NCU), standard urea (U), urea ammonium sulfate (UAS), and two alternative fertilizers, urea + urease inhibitor NBPT (UUI) and urea + urease inhibitor NBPT + nitrification inhibitor DMPSA (UUINI) were compared to non-fertilized controls for four weeks in incubation under anaerobic condition. Effects of fertilizers on global warming potential (GWP) and ammonia volatilization were dependent on residue treatment. Relative to standard urea, NCU reduced GWP by 11 % in CRI but not significantly in CRR; conversely, UAS reduced GWP by 12 % in CRR but not significantly in CRI. UUI and UUINI reduced GWP in both residue treatments and were more effective in CRI (21 % and 26 %) than CRR (15 % and 14 %). Relative to standard urea, NCU increased ammonia volatilization by 8 % in CRI but not significantly in CRR. Ammonia volatilization was reduced most strongly by UUI (40 % in CRI and 37 % in CRR); it was reduced 28–29 % by UUINI and 12–15 % by UAS. Overall, the urease inhibitor, alone and in combination with the nitrification inhibitor, was more effective in mitigating greenhouse gas and ammonia emissions than NCU. However, these products need to be tested in field settings to validate findings from the controlled laboratory experiment.