Aarhus Universitets segl

Investigating the Impact of Native Soil C and Crop Residues on N2O Emissions under Controlled Conditions

Main subject area: greenhouse gas emissions; soil organic carbon; plant residues

Short project description

Leaving crop residues in agricultural fields has been posited as an efficient tool to maintain or increase soil C stocks, thereby contributing to climate change mitigation. However, crop residues can potentially stimulate N2O emissions from soils by serving as a direct N source. Additionally, there is a strong relationship between CO2 and N2O fluxes during decomposition of the crop residues. However, studies focusing on the impact of native soil C are lacking when examining the effects of crop residues on N2O emissions. Here, the hypothesis is that N2O emissions from soils with higher native soil C and crop residue incorporation will be greater. The aim is to study the effect of soil native C and crop residue incorporation on N2O emissions under controlled conditions.

Department and supervisor

Christian Dold

Tenure Track adjunkt

Meng Kong


Project start


Physical location of project and students work

Blichers Alle 20, Tjele, 8830-DK

Extent and type of project

30 ECTS: Theoretical thesis based on literature studies and/or analysis of issued and edited data sets.
45 ECTS: Experimental theses in which the student is responsible for collection and analysis of his/her own original data.

Additional information

This master project can either be based on a thorough literature review combined with new datasets from a controlled incubation experiment (30 ECTS), or on data taken by the MSc student his/herself (45 ECTS), the latter depending on the MSc student’s interest in taking own measurements and tentative start of the experiment. Christian Dold will be the main supervisor with additional support of PhD student Meng Kong. The MSc student will also work together with different researchers and technical staff. This MSc project will be linked to the Gas Emission and Soil C storage project.

Relevant articles

Parkin, Timothy B., and Rodney T. Venterea. "USDA-ARS GRACEnet project protocols, chapter 3. Chamber-based trace gas flux measurements." Sampling protocols. Beltsville, MD p (2010): 1-39.
Mitchell, D. C., et al. (2013). "Cover Crop Effects on Nitrous Oxide Emissions: Role of Mineralizable Carbon." Soil Science Society of America Journal 77(5): 1765-1773.
Lashermes, G., Recous, S., Alavoine, G., Janz, B., Butterbach-Bahl, K., Ernfors, M., & Laville, P. (2022). N2O emissions from decomposing crop residues are strongly linked to their initial soluble fraction and early C mineralization. Science of the Total Environment, 806, 150883.