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Environ Sci Technol. 2012 Jun 19;46(12):6470-80. doi: 10.1021/es300110x. Epub 2012 May 29.

Nitrous oxide (N2O) emission from aquaculture: a review.

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Department of Molecular Biosciences and Bioengineering, University of Hawaii at Manoa, Honolulu, Hawaii 96822, United States.


Nitrous oxide (N(2)O) is an important greenhouse gas (GHG) which has a global warming potential 310 times that of carbon dioxide (CO(2)) over a hundred year lifespan. N(2)O is generated during microbial nitrification and denitrification, which are common in aquaculture systems. To date, few studies have been conducted to quantify N(2)O emission from aquaculture. Additionally, very little is known with respect to the microbial pathways through which N(2)O is formed in aquaculture systems. This review suggests that aquaculture can be an important anthropogenic source of N(2)O emission. The global N(2)O-N emission from aquaculture in 2009 is estimated to be 9.30 × 10(10) g, and will increase to 3.83 × 10(11)g which could account for 5.72% of anthropogenic N(2)O-N emission by 2030 if the aquaculture industry continues to increase at the present annual growth rate (about 7.10%). The possible mechanisms and various factors affecting N(2)O production are summarized, and two possible methods to minimize N(2)O emission, namely aquaponic and biofloc technology aquaculture, are also discussed. The paper concludes with future research directions.

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