Lime application lowers the global warming potential of a double rice cropping system

Yu Jiang, Ping Liao, Natasja van Gestel, Yanni Sun, Yongjun Zeng, Shan Huang, Weijian Zhang, Kees Jan van Groenigen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations


Liming is a common practice to alleviate soil acidification in agricultural systems worldwide. Because liming affects soil microbial activity and soil carbon (C) input rates, it can affect soil greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions as well. However, little is known about the effect of liming on GHG emissions from rice agriculture, one of the main sources of anthropogenic methane (CH4). Here, we report on the first experiment to measure the effect of liming on GHG emissions from rice paddy fields. We studied a double rice cropping system in an acid paddy for two years and measured the impacts of liming on GHG emissions and rice growth with or without straw incorporation. We found that liming reduced CH4 emissions in the early rice season, but it did not affect nitrous oxide (N2O) emissions. Over the two-year study, lime application reduced total CH4 emissions by 12.5% and 15.4% in plots without and with straw incorporation, respectively. Lime application significantly enhanced rice aboveground biomass, while reducing the area- and yield-scaled global warming potential of CH4 and N2O emissions. Lime application stimulated soil respiration during the fallow season and reduced the abundance of methanogens during the early rice growing season. Together, these results suggest that liming reduces CH4 emissions by promoting the decomposition of organic matter during the fallow season, thereby reducing C availability for methanogens. We conclude that in the short term, liming is an effective practice to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from acidic paddy soils.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-8
Number of pages8
StatePublished - Sep 1 2018


  • Climate change
  • Food security
  • Greenhouse gas
  • Soil acidification
  • Soil carbon


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