N fertiliser could indirectly influence soil respiration through modifying plant production and soil properties. However, there is limited information jointly researching soil respiration and wheat yield at different N levels in the Loess Plateau in China. The aim of this experiment was to study the influence of N levels on soil CO2 emission and wheat yield to N levels in a winter wheat field in northwest China from October 2012 to June 2013, and from October 2013 to June 2014. A static chamber technique was applied to quantify the soil respiration, the quantities of five N levels (kg N ha-1) were 0 (N0), 80 (N1), 160 (N2), 240 (N3), and 320 (N4). Results presented that soil CO2 emission showed a strong seasonal trend, with the highest values recorded at anthesis stage and the lowest values was measured at wintering stage. The accumulated soil respiration was 3.1 t CO2-C ha-1 in N0, N1, N2, N3, and N4 treatments significantly increased soil CO2 emissions by 27%, 46%, 66%, and 120% when compared to N0 treatment. Soil CO2 emission showed a significant positive exponential relationship with soil temperature. The temperature sensitivity of respiration (Q10) was reduced from 2.37 in group N0 to 1.74 with the N4 treatment. Whereas no relationship was recorded between soil respiration and soil water content. Although N fertiliser significantly (P < 0.05) increased grain yields by 2 % to 5 %, no difference was recorded between N1 and N2, and between N3 and N4 treatments. The yield-scaled CO2 emissions were significantly (P < 0.05) higher in N levels than in N0 treatment. Our results suggested that N fertilizer could increase soil respiration and yield-scaled CO2 emissions in wheat field, but the magnitude thereof may vary according to the levels of N fertiliser addition.
Keywords: soil CO2 emission, soil temperature, yield-scaled CO2 emissions, no tillage
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