Use of the nitrification inhibitor dicyandiamide (DCD) does not mitigate N2O emission from bovine urine patches under Oxisol in Northwest Brasil

Mazzetto, A.M.; Barneze, A.S.; Feigl, B.J.; Groenigen, J.W. van; Oenema, O.; Klein, C.A.M. de; Cerri, C.C.


Animal production systems are important sources of greenhouse gases (GHGs), especially methane (CH4) and nitrous oxide (N2O). GHG emissions from urine patches have been extensively studied in temperate climates, with few studies under tropical conditions. Here we examined the driving factors of N2O and CH4 emission from urine patches in the tropics, as well as the role of the nitrification inhibitor DCD (dicyandiamide) in mitigating emissions. We hypothesized that the high temperature and periodical rainfall can increase GHG emissions from urine patches through accelerating mineralization of urine-N. We measured CH4 and N2O emissions from beef cattle urine (360 kg N ha-1) in Rondônia state (Brazil, tropical climate), during two different seasons (winter and summer), with and without the application of DCD (10 kg ha-1). No effects of DCD on cumulative N2O emissions were detected in summer, but DCD retarded the main emission peak. During winter DCD increased N2O emissions from 10.8 to 39.2 mg N–N2O m-2 (p = 0.05). Emission factors averaged 0.4 % for summer and 0.1 % for winter, which is significantly lower than the IPCC default value of 1 %. The climate, associated with soil (acidic pH, WFPS and low N content) and plant properties (biological nitrification inhibition) resulted in a low emission factor. We concluded that the IPCC default emission factor for tropical systems may be reduced, and that the application of DCD is not recommended in such systems.