Klaus Dittert, Shan Lin, Christine Kreye, XunHua Zheng, Yangchun Xu, Lu Xuejuan, Qirong Shen, Xiaolin Fan, Burkhard Sattelmacher:
Saving Water with Ground Cover Rice Production Systems at the Price of Increased Greenhouse Gas Emission?


1 Kiel University, Institute of Plant Nutrition and Soil Science, Germany
2 China Agricultural University, Department of Plant Nutrition, China
3 Chinese Academy of Sciences, Institute of Atmospheric Physics, China
4 Nanjing Agricultural University, College of Natural Resources, China
5 South China Agricultural University, Fertilizer and Balanced Fertilization Lab, China

Submerged lowland rice fields make a substantial contribution to global warming by emission of greenhouse gases, typically methane, CH4 . The impact of paddy rice production on nitrous oxide (N2 O) production is less clear. The strong anaerobic conditions of the bulk soil of paddy rice fields promote CH4 production, while they might limit N2 O emission. Water-saving rice production systems have not been tested so far. Here we present an evaluation of the water-saving GCRPS for its impact on emission of methane and nitrous oxide.

Two Ground Cover Rice Production Systems using thin plastic film or straw mulch soil cover were compared to traditional paddy rice production in three major Chinese rice regions, Beijing, Nanjing and Guangzhou. There was a pronounced effect of water management. In the traditionally submerged rice fields, methane emission was dominant, and only during the drainage period before panicle initiation nitrous oxide emission were found. In contrast, methane emission from GCRPS was negligible in Beijing and Nanjing. Only in Guangzhou after heavy rainfall in the beginning of the growing period, both systems showed similar methane fluxes. N2 O emission generally increased with water-saving GCRPS, and emission events were clearly linked to fertilization. Considering the global warming potentials of CH4 and N2 O, the compensation of reduced CH4 emission by increased N2 O fluxes became evident. Our results show that, for Beijing and Nanjing, GCRPS led to a small increase in the total effect of GCRPS on global warming, while in tropical Guangzhou with high CH4 emission from traditional rice system, GCRPS resulted in a small reduction.

Keywords: GCRPS, green house gases, global warming, rice production system, China


Contact Address: Klaus Dittert, Kiel University, Institute of Plant Nutrition and Soil Science, Olshausenstraße 40, 24118 Kiel, Germany, e-mail: kdittert@plantnutrition.uni-kiel.de
Andreas Deininger, 2003