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Comparing Nitrous Oxide Emissions from Three Residential Landscapes under Different Management Schemes Following Natural Rainfall Events
Spence, P., Johnt Walker, W. Robarge, B. Preston, AND D. Osmond. Comparing Nitrous Oxide Emissions from Three Residential Landscapes under Different Management Schemes Following Natural Rainfall Events. Urban Ecosystems. Springer Science+Business Media B.V, Dordrecht, Netherlands, 18:1-17, (2015).
This study examines residential lawns as an urban source of nitrous oxide.
Cultural lawn management practices that produce aesthetically appealing landscapes may also create environmental conditions that stimulate soil nitrous oxide (N2O) emissions. The purpose of this study is to investigate the effects of lawn management practices on N2O fluxes from three distinctly different residential landscapes: a high maintenance fescue (Festuca arundinacea) lawn (HMFL), a low maintenance fescue lawn (LMFL), and a mixed hardwood forested residential landscape (FRL) located in Cary, North Carolina. The specific objectives are (1) to measure the N2O fluxes from three residential landscapes within a fixed 24-h period following natural rainfall events; and (2) to determine the effect of lawn maintenance, season, water filled pore space (WFPS%), temperature, and days after fertilization on N2O flux. The mean annual N2O fluxes for HMFL (14.3 μg N2O-N m-2 h-1), LMFL (3.14 μg N2O-N m-2 h-1) and FRL (0.43 μg N2O-N m-2 h-1) indicate that residential lawns receiving the recommended amount of fertilizer and frequent irrigation exhibit higher N2O fluxes than non-irrigated fertilized lawns or forested landscapes. Trends in the N2O losses from the HMFL and LMFL were associated with timing of fertilizer applications, presence or absence of irrigation, and seasonal growth patterns of the fescue. For the FRL, lower N inputs and the presence of a decomposing litter layer limited N2O production. Our findings demonstrate the effects of lawn management practices on N2O flux. However, these values provide only an index for lawn management differences.