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Using a crop/soil simulation model and GIS techniques to assess methane emissions from rice fields in Asia. II. Model validation and sensitivity analysis

: Matthews, R.B.; Wassmann, R.; Buendia, L.V.; Knox, J.W.


Nutrient cycling in agroecosystems 58 (2000), Nr.1/3, S.161-177
ISSN: 1385-1314
Fraunhofer IFU; 2002 in Helmholtz-Gesellschaft integriert
methane; rice; Oryza sativa; anaerobic; model; simulation; carbon dynamics

The MERES (Methane Emissions from Rice EcoSystems) simulation model was tested using experimental data from IRRI and Maligaya in the Philippines and from Hangzhou in China. There was good agreement between simulated and observed values of total aboveground biomass, root weight, grain yield, and seasonal methane (CH sub 4) emissions. The importance of the contribution of the rice crop to CH sub 4 emissions was highlighted. Rhizodeposition (root exudation and root death) was predicted to contribute about 380 kg C ha high -1 of methanogenic substrate over the season, representing 37 % of the total methanogenic substrate from all sources when no organic amendments were added. A further 225 kg C ha high -1 (22 %) was predicted to come from previous crop residues, giving a total of around 60 % originating from the rice crop, with the remaining 41 % coming from the humic fraction of the soil organic matter (SOM). Sensitivity analysis suggested that the parameter representing transmissivity to gaseous transfer per unit root length (? sub r) was important in determining seasonal CH sub 4 emissions. As this transmissivity increased, more O sub 2 was able to diffuse to the rhizosphere, so that CH sub 4 production by methanogens was reduced and more CH sub 4 was oxidized by methanotrophs. These effects outweighed the opposing influence of increased rate of transport of CH sub 4 through the plant, so that the overall effect was to reduce the amount of CH sub 4 emitted over the season. Varying the root-shoot ratio of the crop was predicted to have little effect on seasonal emissions, the increased rates of rhizodeposition being counteracted by the increased rates of O sub 2 diffusion to the rhizosphere. Increasing the length of a midseason drainage period reduced CH sub 4 emissions significantly, but periods longer than 6 - 7 d also decreased rice yields. Organic amendments with low C/N were predicted to be more beneficial, both in terms of enhancing crop yields and reducing CH sub 4 emissions, even when the same amount of C was applied. This was due to higher rates of immobilization of C into microbial biomass, removing it temporarily as a methanogenic substrate.