Sulfur deposition suppressed nitrogen-induced soil N2O emission from a subtropical forestland in southeastern China

Jianling Fan, Yehong Xu, Zengming Chen, Jiao Xiao, Deyan Liu, Jiafa Luo, Nanthi Bolan, Weixin Ding

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Citations (Scopus)


Subtropical forestland soils are important sources of nitrous oxide (N2O); however few studies have evaluated the effects of sulfate (S) deposition and its interaction with nitrogen (N) on soil N2O emissions from subtropical forestland. A field experiment was conducted in subtropical forestland in Yingtan, Jiangxi Province, China, between June 2011 and May 2013, to measure soil N2O fluxes under three N (NO3) application levels (0, 40, and 80 kg N ha−1 yr−1), two S (SO42−) levels (0 and 45 kg S ha−1 yr−1), and their combinations. The soil N2O flux was significantly (P < 0.05) correlated with only soil temperature in all treatments over the study period; however, soil moisture, and NH4+ and NO3 contents were also included in the stepwise multiple linear regression equations during the N and/or S application period (March to September). N2O emissions under natural conditions in the subtropical forestland were estimated at 0.42 kg N2O-N ha−1 yr−1, and were significantly (P < 0.05) increased by 97–330% under the N application. In contrast, soil N2O emissions decreased to 0.36 kg N2O-N ha−1 yr−1 in the S-applied soil and were significantly (P < 0.05) reduced by 27–36% in the S plus N-amended soils. Our results indicated that atmospheric N deposition potentially increases soil N2O emissions in subtropical forestland, whereas S addition has the potential to mitigate N2O emissions. Given that increased N deposition is expected in the future, S deposition in subtropical forestland soils could suppress N2O emissions to some extent.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)163-170
Number of pages8
JournalAgricultural and Forest Meteorology
Publication statusPublished - 15 Feb 2017
Externally publishedYes


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