Carbon dioxide emission in relation with irrigation and organic amendments from a sweet corn field

Ali Fares, Adam Bensley, Haimanote Bayabil, Ripendra Awal, Samira Fares, Hector Valenzuela, Farhat Abbas

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Citations (Scopus)


Soil moisture and organic matter level affects soil respiration and microbial activities, which in turn impact greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. This study was conducted to evaluate the effect of irrigation levels (75% [deficit], 100% [full], and 125% [excess] of reference crop evapotranspiration requirements), and organic amendments (OA) type (chicken manure [CM] and bone meal [BM]) and OA application rates (0,168, 336 and 672 kg total N ha−1) on (i) soil physical properties (bulk density, organic matter content and soil moisture content) and (ii) soil carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from a highly weathered tropical Hawai'ian soil. Carbon dioxide readings were consistently taken once or twice a week for the duration of the cropping season. A drip irrigation system was used to apply the appropriate amount of irrigation water to the treatment plots. Treatments were randomly selected and corresponding organic amendments were manually incorporated into the soil. Plots were cultivated with sweet corn (Zea mays ‘SS-16’). Soil moisture content within and below the rootzone was monitored using a TDR 300 soil moisture sensor (Spectrum Technologies, Inc., Plainfield, IL, USA) connected with 12 cm long prongs. Soil bulk density and organic matter content were determined at the end of the cropping season. Analysis of variance results revealed that OA type, rate, and their interaction had significant effect on soil CO2 flux (P < 0.05). Among the OA rates, all CM mostly resulted in significantly higher soil CO2 fluxes compared to BM and control treatment (p < 0.05). The two highest rates of BM treatment were not significantly different from the control with regard to soil CO2 flux. In addition, organic amendments affected soil moisture dynamics during the crop growing season and organic matter content measured after the crop harvest. While additional studies are needed to further investigate the effect of irrigation levels on soil CO2 flux, it is recommended that in order to minimize soil CO2 emissions, BM soil amendments could be a potential option to reduce soil CO2 fluxes from agricultural fields similar to the one used in this study.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)387-394
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Environmental Science and Health - Part B Pesticides, Food Contaminants, and Agricultural Wastes
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 3 Jun 2017
Externally publishedYes


  • Bone meal
  • Hawai'i
  • carbon dioxide
  • chicken manure
  • greenhouse gas


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