Nitrous Oxide Emissions from a Coal Mine Land Reclaimed with Stabilized Manure

Tanushree Dutta, Curtis J. Dell, Richard C. Stehouwer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Mine-soil treatment using stabilized manure rapidly sequesters large quantities of organic carbon and nutrients. However, the nutrient-rich soil conditions may become highly conducive for production and emission of N2O. We examined this possibility in a Pennsylvania coal mine restored using poultry manure stabilized in two forms: composted (Comp) or mixed with paper mill sludge (Man+PMS) at C/N ratios of 14, 21, and 28 and compared those with the emissions from conventionally treated soil. The mine soil was extremely well drained with 59% coarse fragments. Soil-atmosphere exchange of N2O and CO2 was determined using a sampling campaign of ten measurements between 16 June and 14 September 2009 (90days) and 13 measurements between 28 June and 9 November 2010 (134days) using static vented chambers at ambient and increased moisture (water added) content. Potential denitrification was determined in a laboratory incubation experiment. While non-amended mine soil did not have a measurable potential for denitrifying activity, the manure-based amendments introduced the potential. Soil water filled pore space was less than 60% on most sampling days in both ambient and water-added plots. Daily N2O-N emissions ranged between 40 and 70gNha-1 with cumulative emissions of 2-4kgNha-1 from non-amended, lime and fertilizer (L+F) and Comp, and 3-10kgNha-1 from Man+PMS treatments. The maximum emission obtained from Man+PMS represented <1% loss of applied N. Although stabilized manure-treated soil exhibits the potential for N2O production, the emission is limited when soils are excessively well drained and reducing conditions rarely develop.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)427-437
Number of pages11
JournalLand Degradation and Development
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 1 2016

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Development
  • General Environmental Science
  • Soil Science


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