2023 Guo Insight into the functional mechanisms of nitrogen-cycling inhibitors in decreasing yield-scaled ammonia volatilization and nitrous oxide emission: A global meta-analysis
Soil ammonia (NH3) volatilization and nitrous oxide (N2O) emission decrease nitrogen (N) utilization efficiency and cause some environmental problems. The N-cycling inhibitors are suggested to apply to enhance N utilization efficiency. Quantifying effects of N-cycling inhibitors on yield-scaled NH3 volatilization and N2O emission and functional genes could provide support for the optimal selection and application of N-cycling inhibitor. We conducted a meta-analysis to reveal the effects of N-cycling inhibitors on soil abiotic properties, functional genes and yield-scaled NH3 volatilization and N2O emission by extracting data from 166 published articles and linked their comprehensive relationships. The N-cycling inhibitors in this meta-analysis mainly includes nitrification inhibitors 3, 4-dimethyl pyrazole phosphate, dicyandiamide and 2-chloro-6-trichloromethylpyridine, urease inhibitor N-(n-butyl) thiophosphoric triamide and biological nitrification inhibitors methyl 4-hydroxybenzoate and 1, 9-decanediol. The N-cycling inhibitor applications significantly increased alkaline soil pH but significantly decreased acidic soil pH. The N-cycling inhibitors decreased soil AOB amoA gene abundances mostly under the condition of pH 4.5–6 (mean: 212%, 95% confidence intervals (CI): 249% and −176%) and significantly decreased nirS gene (mean: 39%; 95% CI: 72% and −6%). The yield-scaled NH3 volatilization was significantly decreased by the N-cycling inhibitors under the condition of soil pH = 7–8.5 (mean: 45%; 95% CI: 59% and −31%). The yield-scaled N2O emission was also significantly reduced by all N-cycling inhibitors and had negative correlations with the soil nirK and nirS gene abundances. The effects of N-cycling inhibitors on soil pH, ammonium-N, nitrate-N and nitrifying and denitrifying genes and yield-scaled NH3 volatilization and N2O emission were dominated by the inhibitor types, soil textures, crop species and environmental pH. Our study could provide technical support for the optimal selection and application of N-cycling inhibitor under different environmental conditions.