Open access peer-reviewed chapter

Management of Paddy Soil towards Low Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Sustainable Rice Production in the Changing Climatic Conditions

Written By

Muhammad Aslam Ali, Kazuyuki Inubushi, Pil Joo Kim and Sitara Amin

Submitted: July 31st, 2018 Reviewed: December 14th, 2018 Published: January 25th, 2019

DOI: 10.5772/intechopen.83548

Chapter metrics overview

2,554 Chapter Downloads

View Full Metrics


Climate change is a vital environmental issue for the twenty-first century, which may significantly affect rice productivity and accelerate greenhouse gas emissions from paddy ecosystem, which is of great environmental concern which is of great environmental concern. Methane (CH4) and nitrous oxide (N2O) are the most important greenhouse gases due to their radiative effects as well as global warming potentials (GWPs). CH4 and N2O gases are simultaneously emitted from rice fields to the atmosphere due to their favorable production, consumption, and transport systems. The intensive rice farming system has been creating excessive pressure on rice fields to produce more rice for the expanding world population, thereby deteriorating soil fertility status and rice paddy ecosystem balance by stimulating more CO2, CH4, and N2O fluxes to the atmosphere. The extreme climatic variables such as high light intensity, high water vapor or relative humidity, high temperature, and drought stress may badly suppress beneficial microbial activity, soil nutrients, and water availability to rice plant; eventually, rice yield may be decreased drastically, and simultaneously, greenhouse gas emissions could be increased significantly. In this situation, conservation tillage, water saving irrigation technique such as alternate wetting and drying, soil amendments with biochar, vermicompost, azolla-cyanobacterial mixture, recommended silicate slag, and phospho-gypsum with minimum NPKSZn fertilizer (IPNS) should be introduced to the field level farmers for sustainable rice production and mitigating greenhouse gas emissions.


  • paddy soils
  • greenhouse gases
  • climate change
  • rice yield
  • GWPs

1. Introduction

World rice production especially in Southeast Asia and tropical Asia is highly vulnerable to climate change. Rice production systems contribute to global climate change through emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2), methane (CH4), and N2O gases to the atmosphere and simultaneously are affected by the changed climatic variables. Rice is the major cereal crop for more than half of the world’s population and its production needs to be increased 40% by the end of the 2030s to meet the increasing demand for the expanding population [1], which may further accelerate CH4 and N2O emissions to the atmosphere [2]. In 2012, worldwide rice production covered 163 million ha of cropland, where approximately 80 million ha were managed under continuous flood irrigation and contributed to 75% of the world’s rice production [3]. China and India, most densely populated countries in the world, account for 20.0 and 28.5% of the global rice area, respectively [4]. In China, approximately 90% of the rice fields are irrigated [5], while in India, more than 46% of the rice fields are irrigated [6]. Unfortunately, the irrigated rice farming acts as one of the main sources of anthropogenic CH4 emission to the atmosphere [7]. Therefore, IRRI is promoting water-saving alternate wetting and drying techniques for improving water use efficiency, while reducing CH4 production in the rice rhizosphere.

Rice paddy fields act as a source of greenhouse gases such as methane (CH4) and nitrous oxides (N2O) depending on soil organic matter status, land use and cropping intensity, irrigation water and drainage management practices, soil microbial populations and their activities, soil properties, and climatic variables. The management practices such as tillage operations, leveling, plant residue incorporation, irrigation frequency and standing water levels, drainage system, and organic and inorganic soil amendments followed in rice farming influence the amount of CH4 and N2O emitted to the atmosphere. Generally, CH4 gas is produced under flooded or anoxic soil conditions (Figure 1a), while N2O gas is produced through nitrification and denitrification processes depending on soil aerobic (oxygenated) and anaerobic conditions (Figure 1b).

Figure 1.

(a) Schematic diagram of methane production, oxidation, and emission from rice paddy field and (b) schematic diagram of N2O, NO, and N2 emissions from rice paddy field.

Typically, N2O emissions are low under flooded fields, while CH4 emissions are high, a trade-off relationship observed which is largely dependent on paddy soil water level, redox status, soil organic matter content, and external sources of organic and inorganic soil amendments. Ali et al. reported that the total GWP of CH4 and N2O gases was decreased by 7–27% and 6–34% with calcium carbide, phospho-gypsum, and silicate fertilizer amendments under continuous and intermittent irrigations, respectively [8]. However, biochar amendments increased the overall GWP of CH4 and N2O gases, which simultaneously increased rice yield [8].


2. Climatic change and greenhouse gas emissions

Greenhouse gases (GHGs), mainly carbon dioxide (CO2), methane (CH4), and nitrous oxide (N2O), have been contributing to about 80% to the current global radiative forcing [9]. Agricultural activities contribute to approximately 20% of the present concentrations of atmospheric GHGs [10], especially the emissions of CH4 and N2O from paddy fields [9]. Methane (CH4) and nitrous oxide (N2O) are the two most important GHGs from agriculture, with global-warming potentials (GWP) of 25 and 298 CO2-equivalents, respectively, on a 100-year time horizon. Apart from the water vapor, CH4 is a major greenhouse gas contributing 20% toward global warming with almost 25-fold higher global warming potential than carbon dioxide [11]. The concentrations of atmospheric CH4 and N2O have increased from 722 and 270 ppb in the pre-industrial period to 1853 and 328.9 ppb in 2016, respectively [12]. China, the largest rice-producing country, accounts for about 28% of global rice production [4] and the total CH4 and N2O emissions from paddy fields are estimated to be 6.4 Tgyr−1 and 180 Ggyr−1, respectively [13]. Although the global estimates of CH4 emission from rice cultivation vary within 20–150 TgCH4 year−1, the global average CH4 is about 100 TgCH4 year−1 [14] and may increase further due to the expansion of rice cultivation as well as intensification of rice agriculture for the increasing world population [15]. Therefore, it is very important to understand the mechanism of CO2, CH4, and N2O exchange and their main controlling factors for developing appropriate strategies to mitigate GHG emissions.


3. Characteristics of paddy soils

Paddy soils are mostly alluvial soils and low humic gley soils (or Entisols and Inceptisols). In addition, vertisols, reddish-brown earths or Alfisols, red-yellow podzolic soils or Ultisols, and latosols or Oxisols are utilized for paddy rice cultivation. Paddy soils are found mainly on alluvial lands such as deltas and flood plains of big rivers, coastal plains, fans, and lower terraces. In general, paddy soils are resistant to erosion when they are terraced and there are ridges around the field, as measures to retain surface water. Paddy fields in the lowlands receive new sediments deposited from run-off that carries eroded topsoil down from the uplands, thus sustaining soil fertility and productivity. The paddy soils have medium to high organic matter (1.5–3.97 g/kg), available phosphorus (11.7–19.9 mg/kg), available potassium (61.6–132.9 mg/kg), and cation exchange capacity (15.5–33.1 cmol/kg). The most common practice in paddy rice cultivation is flooding or temporary water logging of the land surface. Soil redox potential (Eh) or electron activity in soil gradually decreases after flooding, which causes significant methane production at around −200 mV [16], and creates high risk of gaseous N losses through denitrification (Figure 2).

Figure 2.

Paddy soil redox status, sequential reduction and oxidation of inorganic nitrogen, manganese, and iron in flooded soil, and methane gas formation [16].

In paddy fields, the kinetics of the reduction processes are strongly affected by the composition and texture of soil and its content of inorganic electron acceptors. After flooding, microbial reduction processes sequentially use NO3, Mn4+, Fe3+, and SO42− as electron acceptors, accompanied by the emission of the trace gases N2O, N2, H2S, and CH4 due to reduction-induced increasing pH-NH3 (Figure 2). Microorganisms drive redox reactions in soil by using organic carbon and electron acceptors for their metabolic activities. Methane is produced at the terminal step under anaerobic decomposition of organic matter and due to the reduction of CO2 into CH4 in wetland soils. Soil Eh values decreased rapidly after flooding within 5–7 weeks then stabilized toward −200 to −240 mV and produced significant amount of methane [17]. High concentrations and fluxes of dissolved organic matter (DOM) in paddy soils from plant debris trigger microbial activity and thus the emission of greenhouse gases. Therefore, the objectives of this thematic topic are to highlight the feasible field management practices for sustainable rice production and recommend appropriate strategies to mitigate GHG emissions from paddy soils in the changing climate.


4. Materials and methods

4.1. Measurement of CH4 and N2O emissions from the paddy field

The static closed chamber technique was used to measure CH4 and N2O emissions during rice growing period [18]. The chambers were made of PVC and consisted of two parts: an upper transparent compartment (100 cm height, 30 cm width, and 30 cm length) was placed on a permanently installed bottom collar (10 cm height, 30 cm width, and 30 cm length). Three replicate chambers were used. Each of these chambers was placed in each plot. Each chamber was installed with a battery-operated fan to homogenize the air inside the chamber headspace, a thermometer to monitor temperature changes during the gas-sampling period, and a gas-sampling port with a neoprene rubber septum at the top of the chamber for collecting gas samples from the headspace. Gas samples were collected twice daily (Figure 3), sampling during 9.00 am to 12.00 and 12.30 pm to 3.30 pm. A 100-mL plastic syringe equipped with a 3-way stopcock was used to collect gas samples from the chamber headspace 0, 15, and 30 min after chamber deployment. Gas samples were collected twice a day. The collected gas samples were immediately transferred to 100-mL air-evacuated aluminum foil bags (Delin Gas Packaging Co., Ltd., Dalian, China) sealed with a butyl rubber septum and transported to the laboratory for analysis of CH4 and N2O concentrations by Gas Chromatograph (Figure 4).

Figure 3.

(A) Prototype and (B) gas sampling in rice planted paddy field through the closed chamber technique [18].

Figure 4.

Injecting air samples into GC for determination of CH4 and N2O concentrations.

4.2. Determination of CH4 and N2O concentrations in the headspace air samples

CH4 and N2O concentrations in the headspace air samples were determined by a gas chromatograph (Shimadzu GC-2014, Kyoto, Japan) packed with a Porapak Q column (2 m length, 4 mm OD, 80/100 mesh, stainless steel column) (Figure 4). A flame ionization detector (FID) and an electron capture detector (ECD) were used for the determination of CH4 and N2O concentrations, respectively. Helium (99.9% purity) was used as a carrier gas (30 ml min−1), and a make-up gas (95% argon and 5% CH4) was used for the ECD. Calibration was conducted with 1.01, 7.99, and 50.5 μl CH4 l−1 in He and 0.2, 0.6, and 1.0 μl N2O l−1 in He (CRM/RM Information Center of China) as primary standards.

4.3. Estimation of CH4 and N2O fluxes, GWPs, and greenhouse gas intensity (GHGI)

CH4 and N2O fluxes from the paddy field were expressed as the increase/decrease in CH4 and N2O mass per unit surface area per unit time. CH4 and N2O fluxes were estimated by the following equation [19]: F = MV*dc/dt*H*(273/(273 + T); where F is the CH4 or N2O flux (mg CH4 m−2 h−1 or μgN2O m−2 h−1), M is the molar mass of the respective gas (16 for CH4 and 44 for N2O), V is the molar volume of air at a standard state (22.4 l mol−1), dc/dt is the change in headspace CH4 and N2O concentration with time (μmolmol h−1), H is the height of the chamber above the water surface (m), and T is the air temperature inside the chamber (°C). The total CH4 or N2O emission from paddy fields was the summation of methane and nitrous oxide emissions in all growth stages of rice crop.

4.4. Estimation of GWPs of CH4 and N2O

To estimate the GWP, CO2 is typically taken as the reference gas, and an increase or reduction in emission of CH4 and N2O is converted into “CO2-equivalents” by means of their GWPs. In this study, we used the IPCC factors to calculate the combined GWPs for 100 years [GWP = (25 × CH4) + (298 × N2O)], kg CO2-equivalents ha−1 from CH4 and N2O under various agricultural practices. In addition, the greenhouse gas intensity (GHGI) was calculated by dividing GWP by grain yield for rice [20, 21].


5. Results and discussion

The mean rice statistics and cumulative methane emissions in the rice producing countries are presented in Table 1.

CountryHarvested area (Mha)Total production (Mt)Yield (kg ha−1)CH4 emission(kg ha−1)

Table 1.

Mean rice statistics (2004–2014) in the main rice producer countries in Asia, Latin America, and the Caribbean (LAC).

Source: M indicates million [22].

It is known that China, India, Indonesia, Bangladesh, and Vietnam have been playing a dominating role in total rice production (Table 1), which may impose a threat to the environment by stimulating CH4 emissions. Phospho-gypsum, a by-product of the phosphate fertilizer manufacturing industry, is a feasible soil amendment to supplement mainly calcium and sulfur for rice cultivation. The high content of sulfate in phospho-gypsum might prevent CH4 formation as well as CH4 emissions due to stronger competitor for substrates (hydrogen or acetate) than methanogens. It was reported that silicate slag and phospho-gypsum in combination with Azolla-cyanobacteria significantly decreased CH4 flux while improved rice rhizospheric redox status (Figure 5) [18, 23]. Ali et al. reported that biochar amendments in paddy soils of Japan and Bangladesh decreased seasonal cumulative N2O emissions by 31.8 and 20.0%, respectively, followed by 26.3 and 25.0% reduction with biochar plus Azolla-cyanobacteria amendments (Table 2) [18]. Seasonal cumulative CH4 emissions and global warming potentials were significantly decreased due to Azolla-cyanobacterial inoculation with phospho-gypsum and silicate slag amendments [18]. Combined effects of blast furnace slag and revolving furnace slag amendments also showed decreasing effects on GWPs (Table 2).

Figure 5.

Trends of CH4 flux and soil Eh with different soil amendments during rice cultivation in Bangladesh, Japan, and Korea [18, 23].

Table 2.

Cumulative seasonal CH4 and N2O emissions, global warming potentials (GWPs), and yield scaled GHG intensity under different soil amendments. Source: [18, 23].

Silicate slag and biochar amendments in different soils of Japan also reduced cumulative CH4 flux, while increased rice growth and yield parameters (Table 3) [23].

Table 3.

Rice plant growth, yield components, and cumulative CH4 flux under biochar and silicate amendments in different field sites of Japan. Source: JSPS Report by Ali [23].

TreatmentsFlood water paddy field (Showair Union)Flood water paddy field (Tetulia Union)
Grain yield (kg/ha)Straw yield (kg/ha)Gross return (Tk./ha)Total variable cost (Tk./ha)Net return (Tk./ha)BCRGrain yield (kg/ha)Straw yield (kg/ha)Gross return (Tk./ha)Total variable cost (Tk./ha)Net return Tk./haBCR
Control (no top dressing, no ducklings)2143414644,94030,33314,6061.482106412644,19630,26613,9301.46
NPKS (100%) + ducklings25765106104,08649,45054,6362.1224964840100,35349,45050,9032.04
NPKS (50%) + bioslurry with oyster shell + ducklings24464850101,35849,75051,6082.042433488399,10849,75049,5582.0
NPKS (50%) + vermicompost + ducklings27765516108,29150,73357,5582.1426935370104,55147,40057,1512.20
NPKS (50%) + azolla-cyanobacterial mixture + duckling26505283105,64148,33357,3082.2026035183102,65848,33454,3252.14
Significance level***************

Table 4.

Overall productivity of rice duck farming in wetland paddy ecosystem of Dingaputa Haor, Netrokona district by Ali [28].

Among the amendments, biochar significantly decreased N2O emission rates (Figure 6); however, it increased CH4 emission rates (Figure 1). Silicate slag and phospho-gypsum amendments lowered N2O emission rates compared to control treatment (NPK), although no significant differences were observed (Figure 6) [18].

Figure 6.

Trends of N2O flux and DO concentrations under different soil amendments during rice cultivation in Bangladesh, Japan, and Korea [18].

5.1. Climate change and threats to rice production

The IPCC 4th Assessment Report (IPPC) states that Southeast Asia is expected to be seriously affected by the adverse impacts of climate change [11]. The frequency of floods, drought, cyclones, tornadoes, thunderstorm, and earthquake increased during the last 5 years, which badly affected the natural vegetation and forest covers, wild animals, wetlands, and land resources, and ultimately, agricultural productivity declined. In Indonesia, the Philippines, Thailand, and Vietnam, the annual mean temperatures are projected to rise by 4.8°C by 2100, and the global mean sea level will increase by 70 cm during the same period [24]. It has been reported that in Southeast Asia, small changes in the annual rainfall are expected to continue up to 2040 [25], and there will be an increase in the occurrence of severe weather including heat waves and precipitation events. Increases in tropical cyclone intensities by 10–20% are anticipated, and temperatures are projected to continue to increase by about 0.7–0.9°C [25]. Furthermore, sea levels have risen by 1–3 mm/year, marginally higher than the global average [24]. Rice production systems of this region have become increasingly threatened by the effects of climate change as a large portion of the rice-growing areas are located in especially vulnerable regions. A decrease of 10% in rice yield has been found to be associated with every 1°C increase in temperature [24], while the yield of dry-season rice crops in the Philippines decreased by as much as 15% for each 1°C increase in the growing season mean temperature. These temperature and aggravating climate change effects may cause a decline in the world rice production, which have already shown negative effects on agricultural production. By 2100, Indonesia, the Philippines, Thailand, and Vietnam are projected to experience a potential fall of about 50% in rice yield due to the occurrence of extreme climatic events [24, 26]. Furthermore, rice yield would be affected severely due to sea level rise and intrusion of saline water in the coastal area, which will hamper rice growth and yield. Rising sea levels in association with heavy monsoon rainfall will create serious waterlogging and prolonged stagnant floods in major rice-growing, low lying mega-deltas in Southeast Asia, which ultimately deteriorate rice production in the deltas since only a few low-yielding rice varieties have evolved to withstand such conditions [27]. The recent natural disasters such as flash floods caused by water of Indian Meghalaya state and excessive rainfall in the low lying ha or areas of Bangladesh [28] badly affected the only cultivated rice crop, the Boro rice (winter rice), at this region; however, due to rice duck mixed farming, the overall productivity and net profit were recovered to some extent (Table 4).


6. Management of rice paddy ecosystem to cope with climate change and sustainable rice production

6.1. Soil conservation with suitable cover crops and minimum tillage or no tillage

Soil conservation practices such as suitable cover crops, mulches, and minimum tillage (one or two plowing with proper leveling) may be introduced in rice farming not only to control soil erosion and land degradation, while reduce production costs to sustain rice productivity. In addition, conservation tillage will improve environmental quality by lowering GHG emissions (less air pollution) through decreasing the use of diesel fuel and nonburning of rice residues [29]. It has also reported that the no-tillage system in Korean paddy field with silicate fertilization decreased total seasonal CH4 flux by 53 and 36%, while maximizing grain yield by 18 and 13% over the control tillage and control no-tillage systems, respectively [30]. Soil properties were also improved with silicate fertilization under the no-tillage system. It was [31] reported that tillage (after the harvest of late rice) with the incorporation of stubble (3.5 t ha−1) in the winter fallow season significantly decreased both the net GWP and the GHGI while maintained a high grain yield (13.0–13.3 t ha−1 yr−1) in the double-cropping rice system.

6.2. Introducing direct seeded rice (DSR) and puddle rice transplanting (PRT) methods

Direct seeded rice (DSR) is a process of establishing a rice crop which is done by seeds sown in the field rather than by transplanting seedlings from the nursery. The practice of direct seeding instead of transplanting resulted in a 16–54% reduction in CH4 emission [32]. CH4 emission was more significantly reduced under dry-direct seeding compared to wet-direct seeding. However, grain yield in direct seeded rice (DSR) was found lower than Puddle transplanted rice (PTR), probably due to poor crop stand, high percentage of panicle sterility, and higher weed and root-knot nematode infestation [33]. It was also observed that grain yield of direct-seeded rice (9.0 Mg ha−1) was identical to grain yield of transplanted-flooded rice [34]. Average yield penalty of around 10% was observed for the direct seeded rice (DSR) compared with puddle transplanted rice [34]. It was reported [35] that over the rice-growing season, cumulative CH4 emissions were significantly higher in puddle transplanted rice compared to the direct seeded rice production system.

6.3. Water management for sustainable rice production and minimizing GHG emissions

Water management influences rice yield and CH4 and N2O emissions from rice cultivation systems. Irrigated rice fields are an integral part of the rice production system in Asian countries, which contribute about 75% to global rice production. Single or multiple drainages during a rice growing season (e.g., AWD) are reported to reduce CH4 emissions by 48–93% compared to those observed under continuous flooding systems [36, 37]. Mid-season drainage and intermittent flooding were found effective for increasing productivity and quality of rice as well as reducing methane emissions in Japan [38]. The AWD field showed the same yield as continuous flooded field, but saved 16–24% in water costs and 20–25% in production costs. Most farmers in China, Japan, and South Korea have been practicing this mid-season drainage (5–7 days dry out) to increase rice yield and decrease GHG emissions. Mid-season drainage and intermittent irrigations may reduce methane emissions by about 50%. It was also reported [39] that the AWDI treatment (irrigation applied when water level in the pipe fell 15 cm) showed superiority for the rice yield performance and seasonal CH4 emission reduction, water savings, and maximum water productivity index. However, the AWD irrigation technique increased the N2O emission by 97%, especially in DS [40].

6.4. Diverse farm management practices, soil amendments, and rice cropping systems

Feasible management approaches based on agroecosystem have to be adopted to sustain agricultural productivity in the changing climatic conditions. For example, the ground cover rice production system (GCRPS), through which paddy soils are covered by thin plastic films to conserve soil moisture nearly at saturated status, is a promising technology to increase yields with less irrigation water. However, increased soil aeration and temperature under GCRPS may cause more CH4 to N2O emissions compared to conventional techniques. Yao et al. [41] reported that the GHG emissions for the ground cover rice production system (GCRPS, i.e., paddy soils being covered by thin plastic film) were found significantly lower (1973 kg CO2 eq ha−1) than that of traditional cultivation (4186 kg CO2 eq ha−1). Total seasonal CH4 emissions under GCRPS were on average 80% lower as compared to the traditional rice cultivation. The yield-scaled GHG emissions from GCRPS were further reduced from 377 to 222 kg CO2 eq Mg−1 as N2O emissions greatly decreased while yields increased. The system of rice intensification (SRI), an agro-ecological methodology, could be a feasible technique to sustain rice productivity by changing the management of plants, soil, water, and nutrients. Successful application of SRI of increased paddy yield by 50–100% while using less inputs, in particular water, (farmers were able to reduce their water requirements by about 25–50%) [42] has already been reported. Suitable rice cropping patterns, rotations, and mixed rice-duck-fish farming hold the potential scope to sustain agricultural productivity and controlling GHG emissions in the changing climatic conditions. For example, in the Philippines, fish or ducks have been raised with rice as well as legumes such as mung bean (Vigna radiata), groundnut (Arachis hypogaea), and soybean (Glycine max) after two rice dropping. Rotation of crops that have their most drought-sensitive phase in different phases of the growing season may prove a valuable adaptation to limited water resources. Haque et al. reported that the nonrice-based cropping patterns had lower GWPs than the rice-rice-based cropping patterns [43]. Ali et al. reported that CH4 emissions from wetland paddy ecosystems were significantly decreased by integrated rice duck farming [28]. It has been reported that azolla application in rice field increased CH4 emission, probably due to the exudation of azolla root and decomposition of dead azolla. In contrast, reverse report on CH4 emission was also found from rice soil ecosystems, probably due to the increase in redox potential in the root region and dissolved oxygen concentration at the soil-water interface. Azolla cover increased N2O emission from rice paddies due to N-fixation by azolla providing a source for N2O production through nitrification and de-nitrification, especially when the azolla died [44]. CH4 emissions have been reported to increase when crop residues are incorporated prior to planting due to higher amounts of readily available carbon stimulating soil microbial activity. Sander et al. reported that incorporation of rice residues immediately after harvest and subsequent aerobic decomposition of the residues before soil flooding for the next crop reduced CH4 emissions by 2.5–5 times and also improved nutrient cycling in paddy field [45]. It was also reported that residue incorporation accelerated CH4 and N2O emissions from irrigated rice field compared to residues (ryegrass and serradella) left on the soil surface. The open burning of crop residues emits CO2, CH4, and N2O. Ali et al. [17] reported that silicate slag and phospho-gypsum amendments with nitrogenous fertilizer in rice cultivation significantly decreased seasonal CH4 flux by 16–20% and increased rice yield by 13–18% in Korean paddy soil, whereas 12–21% reduction in total seasonal CH4 flux and 5–18% increase in rice grain yield were found in the upland rice paddy soils of Bangladesh [46]. Seasonal cumulative CH4 and N2O emissions, GWPs, and yield scaled greenhouse gas emissions were decreased by combined application of Azolla-cyanobacterial mixture with silicate slag, phospho-gypsum, and biochar amendments in rice paddy soils of Japan, Korea, and Bangladesh (Table 2) [18]. Site-specific nutrient management (SSNM) for rice developed by IRRI (2006) in Asia [47] enables rice farmers to tailor nutrient management to the specific conditions of their fields, and provides a framework for nutrient-based management practices for rice. The increase in annual grain yield with use of SSNM in on-farm evaluation trials averaged 0.9 t/ha in southern India, 0.7 t/ha in the Philippines, and 0.7 t/ha in southern Vietnam [48]. Climatic stress tolerant rice cultivars such as drought, salt/saline, and submergence tolerant rice cultivars have to be developed to cope in the real field stress situation. It was reported [49] that indica-type rice cultivars had significantly higher yield-scaled GWP (1101 kg CO2 equiv. Mg−1) compared to Japonica (711 kg CO2 equiv. Mg−1)-type rice cultivar. It was also reported that AWD irrigation practice reduced CH4 emissions by 24–41%, 26–48% compared with continuous flooding, however, an increase in N2O emission was observed in both seasons [50]. It was also reported that biochar application in paddy soil significantly decreased N2O emission, while increased CH4 emission [51].


7. Conclusion

In the context of global climate change, environment friendly agricultural management practices such as conservation tillage, rice seedling transplanting or direct line seeding, alternate wet and dry irrigation (AWDI), mid-season drainage, soil amendments with biochar, vermicompost, silicate slag and phospho-gypsum, site specific rice based cropping patterns and integrated plant nutrients system (IPNS) should be followed to ensure food security, while mitigating greenhouse gas emissions and global warming potentials. Furthermore, Azolla-cyanobacterial dual cropping with rice, introducing N-fixing legumes and duckling rearing with flood water rice cultivation could be practiced to sustain overall agricultural productivity and minimizing greenhouse gases intensity in the changing climatic conditions.


  1. 1. FAO (Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations). OECD-FAO Agricultural Outlook 2011-2030. 2009
  2. 2. Gagnon B, Ziadi N, Rochette P, Chantigny MH, Angers DH. Fertilizer source influenced nitrous oxide emissions from a clay soil under corn. Soil Science Society of America Journal. 2011;75(2):595-604
  3. 3. International Rice Research Institute. Rice Facts. Available from: [Accessed: August 24, 2013]
  4. 4. FAOSTAT. Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations Statistics Division. 2014
  5. 5. Chen H et al. Methane emissions from rice paddies natural wetlands, lakes in China: Synthesis new estimate. Global Change Biology. 2013;19(1):19-32
  6. 6. Jain MC, Kumar S, Wassmann R, Mitra S, Singh SD, Singh JP, et al. Methane emissions from irrigated rice fields in northern India (New Delhi). Nutrient Cycling in Agro-ecosystems. 2000;58(1-3):75-83
  7. 7. Le Mer J, Roger P. Production, oxidation, emission and consumption of methane by soils: A review. European Journal of Soil Biology. 2001;37:25-50
  8. 8. Ali MA, Haque MA, Kim PJ. Mitigating global warming potentials of methane and nitrous oxide from rice farming in Bangladesh. Ambio. 2013;42(3):357-368
  9. 9. Myhre G, Shindell D, Bréon FM, Collins W, Fuglestvedt J, Huang J, et al. Anthropogenic and natural radiative forcing. In: Stocker TF, Qin D, Plattner GK, Tignor M, Allen SK, Boschung J, et al. editors. Climate Change 2013: The Physical Science Basis. Contribution of Working Group I to the Fifth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, 714. Cambridge, United Kingdom and New York, NY, USA: Cambridge University Press; 2013
  10. 10. Hütsch BW. Methane oxidation in non-flooded soils as affected by crop production. European Journal of Agronomy. 2001;14:237-260
  11. 11. IPCC. Climate Change 2007: Synthesis Report. In: Pachauri RK, Reisinger A, editors. Contribution of Working Groups I, II and III to the Fourth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change; Core Writing Team. Geneva, Switzerland: IPCC; 2007. pp. 104
  12. 12. WMO (World Meteorological Organization). The State of Greenhouse Gases in the Atmosphere Based on Global Observations through 2016. Greenhouse Gas Bulletin, no. 13, 30 October; 2017. Available from:
  13. 13. Zhang XX, Yin S, Li YS, Zhuang HL, Li CS, Liu CJ. Comparison of greenhouse gas emissions from rice paddy fields under different nitrogen fertilization loads in Chongming Island, Eastern China. Science of the Total Environment. 2014;472:381-388
  14. 14. Inter-governmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). Intergovernmental panel on climate change guidelines for National greenhouse gas inventories. In: Agriculture: Nitrous Oxide from Agricultural Soils and ManureManagement; Chapter 4. Paris, France: OECD; 1997
  15. 15. Singh JS, Singh S. Methanogenic bacteria, methanogenesis and methane emission from rice paddies. Tropical Ecology. 1995;36:145-165
  16. 16. Patrick WH Jr, Jugsujinda A. Sequential reduction and oxidation of inorganic nitrogen, manganese, and iron in flooded soil. Soil Science Society of America Journal. 1992;56(4)
  17. 17. Ali MA, Oh JH, Kim PJ. Evaluation of silicate iron slag amendment on reducing methane emission from flood water rice farming. Agriculture, Ecosystems and Environment. 2008;128:21-26
  18. 18. Ali MA, Kim PJ, Inubushi K. Mitigating yield-scaled greenhouse gas emissions through combined application of soil amendments: A comparative study between temperate and subtropical rice paddy soils. Science of the Total Environment. 2015;529:140-148
  19. 19. Rolston DE. Gas flux. In: Klute A, editor. Methods of Soil Analysis, Part 1. Agronomy Monograph 9. 2nd ed. Madison, WI: ASA and SSSA; 1986. pp. 1103-1119
  20. 20. Bhatia A, Pathak H, Jain N, Singh PK, Singh AK. Global warming potential of manure mended soils under rice-wheat system in the Indo-Gangetic plains. Atmospheric Environment. 2005;39:6976-6984
  21. 21. Mosier AR, Halvorson AD, Reule CA, Liu XJ. Net global warming potential and greenhouse gas intensity inirrigated cropping systems in Northeastern Colorado. Journal of Environmental Quality. 2006;35:1584-1598
  22. 22. FAO. FAOSTAT Emissions Database, Agriculture, Rice Cultivation. 2016. Available from: [Accessed: June 11, 2017]
  23. 23. Ali MA. JSPS report (L13557). Development of Mitigation Technology of Greenhouse Gases in Volcanic Ash Soils and Impact Assessment of Climate Change on Field Soil Environment, JSPS Visiting Scientist. Matsudo, Chiba, Japan: Chiba University; 2014
  24. 24. ADB (Asian Development Bank). The economics of climate change in Southeast Asia: A regional review. Manila; 2009
  25. 25. Cruz RV, Harasawa H, Lal M, Wu S, Anokhin Y, Punsalmaa B, et al. Asia. In: Parry ML, Canziani OF, Palutikof JP, van der Linden PJ, Hanson CE, editors. Climate Change 2007: Impacts, Adaptation and Vulnerability. Contribution of Working Group II to the Fourth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press; 2007. pp. 469-506
  26. 26. Bouman BAM, Lampayan RM, Tuong TP. Water Management in Irrigated Rice: Coping with Water Scarcity. Los Baños, Philippines: International Rice Research Institute; 2007. pp. 54
  27. 27. Wassmann R, Jagadish SVK, Heuer S, Ismail A, Redona E, Serraj R, et al. Climate change affectingrice production: The physiological and agronomic basis for possible adaptation strategies. Advances in Agronomy. 2009;101:59-122
  28. 28. Ali MA. Integrated rice duck farming to ensure food security and improving flood water paddy ecosystem through reducing methane emission. Journal of Science and Technology Research. 2018;1:32-36 (Ministry of Science and Technology, Bangladesh)
  29. 29. Adhikari U, Justice S, Tripathi J, Bhatta MR, Khan, S. Evaluation of non-puddled and zero till rice transplanting methods in monsoon rice. In: Proceedings of the International Agricultural Engineering Conference. Bangkok, Thailand; 3-6 December 2007
  30. 30. Ali MA, Lee CH, Lee YB, Kim PJ. Silicate fertilization in no-tillage rice farming for mitigation of methane emission and increasing rice productivity. Agriculture, Ecosystems and Environment. 2009;132:16-22
  31. 31. Yang Y, Huang Q, Yu H, Song K, Ma J, Xu H, et al. Winter tillage with the incorporation of stubble reduces the net global warming potential and greenhouse gas intensity of double-cropping ricefields. Soil and Tillage Research. 2018;183:19-27
  32. 32. Corton TM, Bajita JB, Grospe FS, Pamplona RR, Asis CA, Wassmann R, et al. Methane emission from irrigated and intensively managed rice fields in Central Luzon (Philippines). Nutrient Cycling in Agroecosystems. 2000;58:37-53
  33. 33. Singh Y, Singh G, Johnson D, Mortimer M. Changing from transplanted rice to direct seeding in the rice-wheat cropping system in India. In: Rice is Life: Scientific Perspectives for the 21st Century. Tsukuba, Japan: Proceedings of the World Rice Research Conference; 4-7 November 2004; 2005. pp. 198-201
  34. 34. Liu H, Hussain S, Zheng M, Peng S, Huang J, Cui K, et al. Dry direct-seeded rice as an alternative to transplanted-flooded rice in Central China. Agronomy for Sustainable Development. 2015;35:285-294
  35. 35. Yadav DS, Mortimer AM, Johnson DE. Studies on direct seeding of rice, weed control and tillage practices in the rice-wheat cropping system in eastern Uttar Pradesh. In: Singh Y, Singh VP, Chauhan B, Orr A, Mortimer AM, Johnson DE, et al. editors. Direct Seeding and Weed Management in the Irrigated Rice-Wheat Cropping System of the Indo-Gangetic Plains. Los Baños, Philippines: IRRI; 2008. pp. 139-150
  36. 36. LaHue GT, Chaney RL, Adviento-Borbe MAA, Linquist BA. Alternate wetting and drying inhigh yielding direct-seeded rice systems accomplished multiple environmental and agronomic objectives. Agriculture, Ecosystems and Environment. 2016;229:30-39
  37. 37. Xu Y, Ge J, Tian S, Li S, Nguy-Robertson AL, Zhan M, et al. Effects of water-saving irrigationpractices and drought resistant rice variety on greenhouse gas emissions from a no-till paddy in the centrallowlands of China. Science of the Total Environment. 2015;505:1043-1052
  38. 38. Nagata A. Mitigation of methane emissions from rice paddy fields in Japan. Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries JAPAN. 2010
  39. 39. Barman SC, Ali MA, Hiya HJ, Sarker KR, Sattar MA. Effect of water management practices on rice yield, water productivity and water savings under irrigated rice paddy ecosystem. Journal of Environmental Science and Natural Resources. 2016;9(2):79-84
  40. 40. Sibayana EB, Samoy-Pascuala K, Grospea FS, Casila MED, Tokidac T, Padreb AT, et al. Effects of alternate wetting and drying technique on greenhouse gas emissions from irrigated rice paddy in Central Luzon, Philippines. Soil Science and Plant Nutrition. 2018;64(1):39-46
  41. 41. Yao Z, Zheng X, Zhang Y, Liu C, Wang R, Lin S, et al. Urea deep placement reduces yield-scaled greenhouse gas (CH4 and N2O) and NO emissions from a ground cover rice production system. Scientific Reports. 2017;7:11415. DOI: 10.1038/s41598-017-11772-2
  42. 42. Norman UPHOFF. Reducing the Vulnerability of Rural Households through Agro-ecological Practice: Considering the System of Rice Intensification (SRI). Mondesen Dévelopment 2007/4 (n° 140). 2007. pp. 85-100. DOI: 10.3917/med.140.0085
  43. 43. Haque MM, Kim SY, Ali MA, Kim PJ. Contribution of greenhouse gas emissions during cropping and fallow seasons on total global warming potential in mono-rice paddy soils. Plant and Soil. 2015;387:251-264
  44. 44. Ma Y, Tong C, Wang W, Zeng C. Effect of Azolla on CH4 and N2O emissions in Fuzhou Plain paddy fields. Chinese Journal of Eco-Agriculture. 2012;20:723-727. Chinese with English summary. DOI: 10.3724/SP.J.1011.2012.00723
  45. 45. Sander BO, Samson M, Buresh RJ. Methane and nitrous oxide emissions from flooded rice fields as affected by water and straw management between rice crops. Geoderma. 2014;235:355-362
  46. 46. Ali MA, Farouque G, Haque M, Kabir A. Influence of soil amendments on mitigating methane emissions and sustaining rice productivity in paddy soil ecosystems of Bangladesh. Journal of Environmental Science and Natural Resources. 2012;5(1):179-185
  47. 47. IRRI (International Rice Research Institute). Site-specific nutrient management. 2006. Available from: [Accessed: December 30, 2006]
  48. 48. Pampolino MF, Manguiat IJ, Ramanathan S, Gines HC, Tan PS, Chi TN, et al. Environmental impact and economic benefits of site-specific nutrient management (SSNM) in irrigated rice systems. Agricultural Systems. 2007;93:1-24
  49. 49. Zheng H, Huang H, Yao L, Liu J, He H, Tang J. Impacts of rice varieties and management on yield-scaled greenhouse gas emissions from rice fields in China: A meta-analysis. Biogeosciences. 2014;11:3685-3693
  50. 50. Ooa AZ, Sudoa S, Inubushi K, Manob M, Yamamotoc A, Onoa K, et al. Methane and nitrous oxide emissions from conventional and modified rice cultivation systems in South India. Agriculture, Ecosystems and Environment. 2018;252:148-158
  51. 51. Singla A, Inubushi K. Effect of biochar on CH4 and N2O emission from soils vegetated with paddy. Paddy and Water Environment. 2014;12:239-243

Written By

Muhammad Aslam Ali, Kazuyuki Inubushi, Pil Joo Kim and Sitara Amin

Submitted: July 31st, 2018 Reviewed: December 14th, 2018 Published: January 25th, 2019