China is the largest rice producing and consuming country in the world, accounting for more than 25% of global production and consumption. Rice cultivation is also one of the main sources of anthropogenic methane (CH4) and nitrous oxide (N2O) emissions. The challenge of maintaining food security while reducing greenhouse gas emissions is an important tradeoff issue for both scientists and policy makers. A systematical evaluation of tradeoffs requires attention across spatial scales and over time in order to characterize the complex interactions across agricultural systems components. We couple three well-known models that capture different key agricultural processes in order to improve the tradeoff analysis. These models are the DNDC biogeochemical model of soil denitrification-decomposition processes, the DSSAT crop growth and development model for decision support and agro-technology analysis, and the regional AEZ crop productivity assessment tool based on agro-ecological analysis. The calibration of eco-physiological parameters and model evaluation used the phenology and management records of 1981–2010 at nine agro-meteorological stations spanning the major rice producing regions of China. The eco-physiological parameters were calibrated with the GLUE optimization algorithms of DSSAT and then converted to the counterparts in DNDC. The upscaling of DNDC was carried out within each cropping zone as classified by AEZ. The emissions of CH4 and N2O associated with rice production under different management scenarios were simulated with the DNDC at each site and also each 10×10km grid-cell across each cropping zone. Our results indicate that it is feasible to maintain rice yields while reducing CH4 and N2O emissions through careful management changes. Our simulations indicated that a reduction of fertilizer applications by 5–35% and the introduction of midseason drainage across the nine study sites resulted in reduced CH4 emission by 17–40% and N2O emission by 12–60%, without negative consequences on rice yield.
Agricultural Systems – Elsevier
Published: Jan 1, 2018
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