The closed chamber method was used to assess nitrous oxide (N2O) fluxes from corn (Zea mays, L.) fields during the 1995 growing season. The study area was characterized by a claypan soil overlying a nitrate (NO31-)-enriched glacial-drift aquifer. Denitrification produced N2O fluxes of 0.2-6.9 g ha-1 hr-1 early in the growing season. Fluxes increased with increasing soil temperature, soil water potential, and soil saturation. However, greatly diminished N2O fluxes (0.001-0.09 gha-1 hr-1) occurred when soil saturation increased to 94 percent. Losses of N2O increased linearly during the day and decreased at night, probably because of declining soil temperatures. Declines in soil saturation (less than 80 percent) and soil moisture potential (less than -10 kPa) produced late season N2O fluxes (0.03-0.8 g ha-1 hr-1) attributable to nitrification. Results indicate that denitrification would not significantly reduce claypan soil NO31- concentrations.
Additional publication details
Nitrous oxide fluxes from a claypan soil overlying nitrate-enriched glacial drift