Volume 21, Number 8, December 2001
Page(s) 713 - 723
DOI: 10.1051/agro:2001165

Agronomie 21 (2001) 713-723

Laboratory kinetics of soil denitrification are useful to discriminate soils with potentially high levels of N2O emission on the field scale

Catherine Hénault, Dominique Chèneby, Karin Heurlier, Francis Garrido, Sébastien Perez and Jean-Claude Germon

INRA-CMSE, Laboratoire de Microbiologie des Sols, 17 rue Sully, BP 86510, 21065 Dijon Cedex, France

(Received 11 September 2000; accepted 28 May 2001)

Emissions of N2O, a greenhouse gas, were measured in field conditions on a Rendzic Leptosol, an Eutric Leptosol, a Haplic Calcisol, a Haplic Luvisol and two Gleyic Luvisols under cultivation, and on a Haplic Fluvisol and two Gleyic Cambisols under cultivation and grassland conditions. The kinetics of N2O production and consumption during denitrification in these soils were studied during anaerobic incubations in the laboratory, with NO3- and N2O addition in the presence or absence of acetylene. The soils with the highest "in situ" levels of N2O emission, i.e. the Gleyic Luvisols under cultivation and the grassland soils, exhibited considerable transient accumulation of N2O during denitrification studied in the laboratory. We therefore propose an empirical indicator, measured in the laboratory, of the soil's potential to emit N2O on the field scale. Carbon addition to one of the Gleyic Luvisols promoted N2O reduction and limited the transient accumulation of N2O during laboratory denitrification.

Des cinétiques de dénitrification effectuées au laboratoire permettent de discriminer les sols qui émettent des niveaux importants de N2O au champ. Les émissions de N2O, gaz à effet de serre, ont été mesurées au cours d'essais au champ, sur des sols cultivés dont un Rendzic Leptosol, un Eutric Leptosol, un Haplic Calcisol, un Haplic Luvisol et deux Gleyic Luvisols, et sur des sols cultivés et en prairie, dont un Haplic Fluvisol et deux Gleyic Cambisols. En parallèle, les cinétiques de production et de consommation de N2O au cours de la dénitrification ont été étudiées au laboratoire sur des suspensions de sol, au cours d'incubations anaérobies avec apport de NO3- et de N2O, en présence et en absence d'acétylène. Les sols qui émettent le plus de N2O "in situ " , c'est-à-dire les Gleyic Luvisols cultivés et les sols de prairie, accumulent aussi beaucoup de N2O au cours du processus de dénitrification étudié au laboratoire. Nous proposons donc un indicateur empirique, mesuré au laboratoire, des potentialités des sols à émettre N2O au champ. L'apport de carbone à l'un des Gleyic Luvisols a favorisé la réduction du N2O et limité l'accumulation transitoire de N2O au cours de la dénitrification étudiée au laboratoire.

Key words: N2O / soils / denitrification / empirical indicator / carbon

Mots clés : N2O / sols / dénitrification / indicateur empirique / carbone

Correspondence and reprints: Catherine Hénault

Communicated by Guido Reinhardt (Heidelberg, Germany)

© INRA, EDP Sciences 2001

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