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J Environ Qual. 2013 May-Jun;42(3):704-12. doi: 10.2134/jeq2012.0300.

Microbial-based inoculants impact nitrous oxide emissions from an incubated soil medium containing urea fertilizers.


There is currently much interest in developing crop management practices that will decrease NO emissions from agricultural soils. Many different approaches are being investigated, but to date, no studies have been published on how microbial inoculants affect NO emissions. This study was conducted to test the hypothesis that microbial-based inoculants known to promote root growth and nutrient uptake can reduce NO emissions in the presence of N fertilizers under controlled conditions. Carbon dioxide and CH fluxes were also measured to evaluate microbial respiration and determine the aerobic and anaerobic conditions of the incubated soil. The microbial-based treatments investigated were SoilBuilder (SB), a metabolite extract of SoilBuilder (SBF), and a mixture of four strains of plant growth-promoting spp. Experiments included two different N fertilizer treatments, urea and urea-NHNO 32% N (UAN), and an unfertilized control. Emissions of NO and CO were determined from soil incubations and analyzed with gas chromatography. After 29 d of incubation, cumulative NO emissions were reduced 80% by SB and 44% by SBF in soils fertilized with UAN. Treatment with spp. significantly reduced NO production on Days 1 and 2 of the incubation in soils fertilized with UAN. In the unfertilized treatment, cumulative emissions of NO were significantly reduced 92% by SBF. Microbial-based treatments did not reduce NO emissions associated with urea application. Microbial-based treatments increased CO emissions from soils fertilized with UAN, suggesting a possible increase in microbial activity. Overall, the results demonstrated that microbial-based inoculants can reduce NO emissions associated with N fertilizer application, and this response varies with the type of microbial-based inoculant and fertilizer.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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