Modelling carbon dioxide emissions from agricultural soils in Canada

Dhananjay Yadav, Junye Wang

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal Articlepeer-review

51 Citations (Scopus)


Agricultural soils are a leading source of atmospheric greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and are major contributors to global climate change. Carbon dioxide (CO2) makes up 20% of the total GHG emitted from agricultural soil. Therefore, an evaluation of CO2 emissions from agricultural soil is necessary in order to make mitigation strategies for environmental efficiency and economic planning possible. However, quantification of CO2 emissions through experimental methods is constrained due to the large time and labour requirements for analysis. Therefore, a modelling approach is needed to achieve this objective. In this paper, the DeNitrification-DeComposition (DNDC), a process-based model, was modified to predict CO2 emissions for Canada from regional conditions. The modified DNDC model was applied at three experimental sites in the province of Saskatchewan. The results indicate that the simulations of the modified DNDC model are in good agreement with observations. The agricultural management of fertilization and irrigation were evaluated using scenario analysis. The simulated total annual CO2 flux changed on average by ±13% and ±1% following a ±50% variance of the total amount of N applied by fertilising and the total amount of water through irrigation applications, respectively. Therefore, careful management of irrigation and applications of fertiliser can help to reduce CO2 emissions from the agricultural sector.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1040-1049
Number of pages10
JournalEnvironmental Pollution
Publication statusPublished - 2017


  • Agricultural management
  • Carbon dioxide emissions
  • DNDC model
  • Environmental modelling


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