Oil Palm Bulletin No. 79 (November 2019) p16-21

Nitrous Oxide Emission from Oil Palm Plantation – Why is it Important?

Norliyana Zin Zawawi*

Nitrous oxide (N2O) emission from agriculture is one of the most important sources of greenhouse gases (GHG). Even though oil palm is the most widely cultivated agricultural crop in the tropics, we have relatively poor understanding of the range and magnitude of N2O fluxes from oil palm. Due to the rapid nitrogen (N) cycling through microbial activities, tropical soils are likely to release large amounts of N2O into the atmosphere, which is mainly associated with the fertiliser use in plantations. The spatial heterogeneity in oil palm ecosystems may also contribute to N2O fluxes in tropical soils due to differences in ground disturbances and management levels. Despite the fact that N2O fluxes from agricultural systems are strongly influenced by fertiliser application, data on oil palm plantations established on mineral or peat soils are still limited. Since N2O emissions from fertiliser application account for more than 51% of total plantation emissions, this review aims to summarise the importance of N2O studies for oil palm to obtain more accurate N2O emissions data. This is to have a better understanding on the N dynamics of the oil palm, thus achieving the goal of sustainable palm oil.


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Author information:
*Malaysian Palm Oil Board, 6, Persiaran Institusi, Bandar Baru Bangi, 43000 Kajang, Selangor, Malaysia. E-mail: norliyanazz@mpob.gov.my