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Increases in soil sequestered carbon under conservation agriculture cropping decrease the estimated greenhouse gas emissions of wetland rice using life cycle assessment

Alam, M.K., Bell, R.W.ORCID: 0000-0002-7756-3755 and Biswas, W.K. (2019) Increases in soil sequestered carbon under conservation agriculture cropping decrease the estimated greenhouse gas emissions of wetland rice using life cycle assessment. Journal of Cleaner Production, 224 . pp. 72-87.

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Wetland rainfed rice (Oryza sativa L.), which covers 60 million hectares in South Asia, contributes significantly to agricultural greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Mitigation strategies for GHG emissions by wetland rice production are of considerable importance. Life cycle assessment of GHG emissions can be used to assess the mitigation potential of new rice production practices such as seedling establishment on non-puddled soil. The aim of the study was firstly to determine the GHG mitigation potential of rain-fed rice production by changing to non-puddled transplanting and increased crop residue retention and secondly to determine the addition contribution of soil carbon sequestration to net GHG emissions with the altered crop establishment approach. A cradle to farm-gate Life Cycle Analysis was used to calculate GHG emissions associated with monsoon rice production in rice-based intensive cropping systems of Northwest Bangladesh. The non-puddled transplanting and low residue retention decreased the net life cycle assessment GHG emissions (CO2eq) by 31 % in comparison with the current puddled transplanting and increased crop residue retention. By contrast, non-puddling with increased residue retention reduced emission of the net GHG by 16 % in comparison with current puddling and low residue retention. Regardless of rice establishment practices, CH4 was the most prevalent GHG emission comprising 63 to 67 % of the total GHGs, followed by 17–20 % from CO2 emissions from the field. The GHG emissions tonne-1 rice after accounting for soil carbon storage ranged from 1.04 to 1.18 tonne CO2eq for non-puddling with low and increased crop residue retention, respectively. The inclusion of soil carbon in the footprint equation represents a 26 % reduction of estimated GHG emissions under non-puddled soil with increased residue retention. Overall, non-puddled transplanting with increased crop residue retention was an effective GHG mitigation option in wetland monsoon rice production because the increased yield and extra soil organic carbon storage more than offset its higher CH4 emissions than with low residue retention.

Item Type: Journal Article
Murdoch Affiliation(s): School of Veterinary and Life Sciences
Publisher: Elsevier Limited
Copyright: © 2019 Published by Elsevier Ltd.
United Nations SDGs: Goal 12: Responsible Consumption and Production
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