Modeling nitrous oxide emissions from three United Kingdom farms following application of farmyard manure and green compost

Jiacheng Shen, Roland Treu, Junye Wang, Rachel Thorman, Fiona Nicholson, Anne Bhogal

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal Articlepeer-review

21 Citations (Scopus)


Organic fertilizers, such as manure and compost, are promising additions for synthetic fertilizers in order to increase soil fertility and crop yields. However, the organic fertilizers applied to soils may increase nitrous oxide (N2O, a greenhouse gas) emissions due to their lower C/N ratios, and therefore potentially contribute to global warming. Very few studies have used process-based models to assess the environmental advantages and drawbacks of compost soil amendments compared to other field treatments. In this study, the UK-DNDC model was modified for simulation of nitrous oxide (N2O) fluxes emitted from the soils treated with green compost and farmyard manure at three UK farms (WE, PW and NW): one winter wheat and two grasslands. The results show that the annual overall N2O emissions were 1.45 kg N ha−1 y−1 for WE treated with farmyard manure, 0.71 for WE with green compost, 1.09910 for PW treated with farmyard manure, 0.94 for PW treated with green compost, 1.19 for NW treated with farmyard manure, and 1.18 for NW treated with green compost. A two dimensional linear model was developed to correlate nitrogen loading and soil pH for calculations of emissions and emission factors (EFs). The linear model could fit the emissions obtained from the UK-DNDC model well. The squares of correlation coefficients of the emissions between two models are 0.993 and 0.985 for farmyard manure and green compost, respectively. Analysis of correlation coefficients between N2O emissions and air temperature, precipitation as well as the time period between fertilizer application and sample measurement (PFS) for the three sites treated with farmyard manure and compost indicated that N2O emissions were mainly related to PFS. The modified DNDC model provides an approach to estimating N2O emissions from compost amended soils.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1566-1577
Number of pages12
JournalScience of the Total Environment
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct. 2018


  • DNDC model
  • Emission factor
  • Farmyard manure
  • Green compost
  • Greenhouse gases (GHG)
  • Nitrous oxide


Dive into the research topics of 'Modeling nitrous oxide emissions from three United Kingdom farms following application of farmyard manure and green compost'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this