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Environ Pollut. 2012 Jan;160(1):24-7. doi: 10.1016/j.envpol.2011.09.006. Epub 2011 Oct 14.

Synthetic fertilizer management for China's cereal crops has reduced N2O emissions since the early 2000s.

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State Key Laboratory of Vegetation and Environmental Change, Institute of Botany, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100093, PR China.


China has implemented a soil testing and fertilizer recommendation (STFR) program to reduce the over-usage of synthetic nitrogen (N) fertilizer on cereal crops since the late 1990 s. Using province scale datasets, we estimated an annual reduction rate of 2.5-5.1 kg N ha(-1) from 1998 to 2008 and improving grain yields, which were attributed to the balanced application of phosphate and potassium fertilization. Relative to the means for 1998-2000, the synthetic N fertilizer input and the corresponding N-induced N(2)O production in cereal crops were reduced by 22 ± 0.7 Tg N and 241 ± 4 Gg N(2)O-N in 2001-2008. Further investigation suggested that the N(2)O emission related to wheat and maize cultivation could be reduced by 32-43 Gg N(2)O-N per year in China (26%-41% of the emissions in 2008) if the STFR practice is implemented universally in the future.

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