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Comparison of RZWQM2 and DNDC Models to Simulate Greenhouse Gas Emissions under Combined Inorganic/Organic Fertilization in a Subsurface-Drained Field

Published by the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers, St. Joseph, Michigan

Citation:  Transactions of the ASABE. 63(4): 771-787. (doi: 10.13031/trans.13668) @2020
Authors:   Qianjing Jiang, Zhiming Qi, Chandra A. Madramootoo, Ward Smith, Naeem A. Abbasi, Tiequan Zhang
Keywords:   CO2 emission, Corn-soybean rotation, Inorganic fertilization, Manure application, N2O emission, Process-based modeling.


RZWQM2 was compared with DNDC to predict greenhouse gas emissions.

RZWQM2 was applied to simulate the greenhouse gas emissions under manure application.

RZWQM2 performed better than DNDC in simulating soil water content and CO2 emissions.

Abstract. N management has the potential to mitigate greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Process-based models are promising tools for evaluating and developing management practices that may optimize sustainability goals as well as promote crop productivity. In this study, the GHG emission component of the Root Zone Water Quality Model (RZWQM2) was tested under two different types of N management and subsequently compared with the Denitrification-Decomposition (DNDC) model using measured data from a subsurface-drained field with a corn-soybean rotation in southern Ontario, Canada. Field-measured data included N2O and CO2 fluxes, soil temperature, and soil moisture content from a four-year field experiment (2012 to 2015). The experiment was composed of two N treatments: inorganic fertilizer (IF), and inorganic fertilizer combined with solid cattle manure (SCM). Both models were calibrated using the data from IF and validated with SCM. Statistical results indicated that both models predicted well the soil temperature, but RZWQM2 performed better than DNDC in simulating soil water content (SWC) because DNDC lacked a heterogeneous soil profile, had shallow simulation depth, and lacked crop root density functions. Both RZWQM2 and DNDC predicted the cumulative N2O and CO2 emissions within 15% error under all treatments, while the timing of daily CO2 emissions was more accurately predicted by RZWQM2 (RMSE = 0.43 to 0.54) than by DNDC (RMSE = 0.60 to 0.67). Modeling results for N management effects on GHG emissions showed consistency with the field measurements, indicating higher CO2 emissions under SCM than IF, higher N2O emissions under IF in corn years, but lower N2O emissions in soybean years. Overall, RZWQM2 required more experienced and intensive calibration and validation, but it provided more accurate predictions of soil hydrology and better timing of CO2 emissions than DNDC.

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