Nitrogen (N) is one of the most important plant nutrient, and its availability and transformations are vital for net primary production. Soil N transformations include mineralization, nitrification and denitrification processes. Nitrogen mineralization transforms organic N into inorganic N, providing available N for crops. Both nitrification and denitrification are microbe-driven processes associated with nitrous oxide (N2O) emissions. N2O emissions from agricultural soils decrease N fertilization efficiency and potentially induce global warming. The mitigation of soil N2O emissions in agricultural practice is essential for sustainable development of agriculture considering the environmental effect of N2O. Various strategies have been proposed for the mitigation of N2O emissions. Nitrification inhibitors have been demonstrated to be useful in decreasing soil N2O emissions, including the application of nitrification inhibitors, such as dicyandiamide (DCD) and 3,4-dimethylpyrazole phosphate (DMPP). Recently, biological nitrification inhibitors have also attracted researchers’ attention, which may be more environment-friendly. In addition, biochar commonly used as soil ameliorant to improve soil quality and C sequestration could also mitigate soil N2O emissions. Once all effective strategies would be widely implemented, more environment-friendly agriculture could be expected.
Part of the book: Nitrogen in Agriculture