Limited potential of harvest index improvement to reduce methane emissions from rice paddies

Yu Jiang, Haoyu Qian, Ling Wang, Jinfei Feng, Shan Huang, Bruce A Hungate, Chris van Kessel, William R. Horwath, Xingyue Zhang, Xiaobo Qin, Yue Li, Xiaomin Feng, Jun Zhang, Aixing Deng, Chenyan Zheng, Zhenwei Song, Shuijin Hu, Kees Jan van Groenigen, Weijian Zhang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

5 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Rice is a staple food for nearly half of the world's population, but rice paddies constitute a major source of anthropogenic CH4 emissions. Root exudates from growing rice plants are an important substrate for methane-producing microorganisms. Therefore, breeding efforts optimizing rice plant photosynthate allocation to grains, i.e., increasing harvest index (HI), are widely expected to reduce CH4 emissions with higher yield. Here we show, by combining a series of experiments, meta-analyses and an expert survey, that the potential of CH4 mitigation from rice paddies through HI improvement is in fact small. Whereas HI improvement reduced CH4 emissions under continuously flooded (CF) irrigation, it did not affect CH4 emissions in systems with intermittent irrigation (II). We estimate that future plant breeding efforts aimed at HI improvement to the theoretical maximum value will reduce CH4 emissions in CF systems by 4.4%. However, CF systems currently make up only a small fraction of the total rice growing area (i.e., 27% of the Chinese rice paddy area). Thus, to achieve substantial CH4 mitigation from rice agriculture, alternative plant breeding strategies may be needed, along with alternative management.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalGlobal Change Biology
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - Jan 1 2018

Fingerprint

Methane
Irrigation
rice
methane
Microorganisms
Agriculture
plant breeding
Substrates
mitigation
Experiments
irrigation
harvest
index
alternative agriculture
microorganism
breeding
substrate

Keywords

  • climate change
  • food security
  • greenhouse gases
  • meta-analysis
  • water management

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Global and Planetary Change
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Ecology
  • Environmental Science(all)

Cite this

Limited potential of harvest index improvement to reduce methane emissions from rice paddies. / Jiang, Yu; Qian, Haoyu; Wang, Ling; Feng, Jinfei; Huang, Shan; Hungate, Bruce A; van Kessel, Chris; Horwath, William R.; Zhang, Xingyue; Qin, Xiaobo; Li, Yue; Feng, Xiaomin; Zhang, Jun; Deng, Aixing; Zheng, Chenyan; Song, Zhenwei; Hu, Shuijin; van Groenigen, Kees Jan; Zhang, Weijian.

In: Global Change Biology, 01.01.2018.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Jiang, Y, Qian, H, Wang, L, Feng, J, Huang, S, Hungate, BA, van Kessel, C, Horwath, WR, Zhang, X, Qin, X, Li, Y, Feng, X, Zhang, J, Deng, A, Zheng, C, Song, Z, Hu, S, van Groenigen, KJ & Zhang, W 2018, 'Limited potential of harvest index improvement to reduce methane emissions from rice paddies', Global Change Biology. https://doi.org/10.1111/gcb.14529
Jiang, Yu ; Qian, Haoyu ; Wang, Ling ; Feng, Jinfei ; Huang, Shan ; Hungate, Bruce A ; van Kessel, Chris ; Horwath, William R. ; Zhang, Xingyue ; Qin, Xiaobo ; Li, Yue ; Feng, Xiaomin ; Zhang, Jun ; Deng, Aixing ; Zheng, Chenyan ; Song, Zhenwei ; Hu, Shuijin ; van Groenigen, Kees Jan ; Zhang, Weijian. / Limited potential of harvest index improvement to reduce methane emissions from rice paddies. In: Global Change Biology. 2018.
@article{c2af6139e5894d89a702ffaef9c4cd21,
title = "Limited potential of harvest index improvement to reduce methane emissions from rice paddies",
abstract = "Rice is a staple food for nearly half of the world's population, but rice paddies constitute a major source of anthropogenic CH4 emissions. Root exudates from growing rice plants are an important substrate for methane-producing microorganisms. Therefore, breeding efforts optimizing rice plant photosynthate allocation to grains, i.e., increasing harvest index (HI), are widely expected to reduce CH4 emissions with higher yield. Here we show, by combining a series of experiments, meta-analyses and an expert survey, that the potential of CH4 mitigation from rice paddies through HI improvement is in fact small. Whereas HI improvement reduced CH4 emissions under continuously flooded (CF) irrigation, it did not affect CH4 emissions in systems with intermittent irrigation (II). We estimate that future plant breeding efforts aimed at HI improvement to the theoretical maximum value will reduce CH4 emissions in CF systems by 4.4{\%}. However, CF systems currently make up only a small fraction of the total rice growing area (i.e., 27{\%} of the Chinese rice paddy area). Thus, to achieve substantial CH4 mitigation from rice agriculture, alternative plant breeding strategies may be needed, along with alternative management.",
keywords = "climate change, food security, greenhouse gases, meta-analysis, water management",
author = "Yu Jiang and Haoyu Qian and Ling Wang and Jinfei Feng and Shan Huang and Hungate, {Bruce A} and {van Kessel}, Chris and Horwath, {William R.} and Xingyue Zhang and Xiaobo Qin and Yue Li and Xiaomin Feng and Jun Zhang and Aixing Deng and Chenyan Zheng and Zhenwei Song and Shuijin Hu and {van Groenigen}, {Kees Jan} and Weijian Zhang",
year = "2018",
month = "1",
day = "1",
doi = "10.1111/gcb.14529",
language = "English (US)",
journal = "Global Change Biology",
issn = "1354-1013",
publisher = "Wiley-Blackwell",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - Limited potential of harvest index improvement to reduce methane emissions from rice paddies

AU - Jiang, Yu

AU - Qian, Haoyu

AU - Wang, Ling

AU - Feng, Jinfei

AU - Huang, Shan

AU - Hungate, Bruce A

AU - van Kessel, Chris

AU - Horwath, William R.

AU - Zhang, Xingyue

AU - Qin, Xiaobo

AU - Li, Yue

AU - Feng, Xiaomin

AU - Zhang, Jun

AU - Deng, Aixing

AU - Zheng, Chenyan

AU - Song, Zhenwei

AU - Hu, Shuijin

AU - van Groenigen, Kees Jan

AU - Zhang, Weijian

PY - 2018/1/1

Y1 - 2018/1/1

N2 - Rice is a staple food for nearly half of the world's population, but rice paddies constitute a major source of anthropogenic CH4 emissions. Root exudates from growing rice plants are an important substrate for methane-producing microorganisms. Therefore, breeding efforts optimizing rice plant photosynthate allocation to grains, i.e., increasing harvest index (HI), are widely expected to reduce CH4 emissions with higher yield. Here we show, by combining a series of experiments, meta-analyses and an expert survey, that the potential of CH4 mitigation from rice paddies through HI improvement is in fact small. Whereas HI improvement reduced CH4 emissions under continuously flooded (CF) irrigation, it did not affect CH4 emissions in systems with intermittent irrigation (II). We estimate that future plant breeding efforts aimed at HI improvement to the theoretical maximum value will reduce CH4 emissions in CF systems by 4.4%. However, CF systems currently make up only a small fraction of the total rice growing area (i.e., 27% of the Chinese rice paddy area). Thus, to achieve substantial CH4 mitigation from rice agriculture, alternative plant breeding strategies may be needed, along with alternative management.

AB - Rice is a staple food for nearly half of the world's population, but rice paddies constitute a major source of anthropogenic CH4 emissions. Root exudates from growing rice plants are an important substrate for methane-producing microorganisms. Therefore, breeding efforts optimizing rice plant photosynthate allocation to grains, i.e., increasing harvest index (HI), are widely expected to reduce CH4 emissions with higher yield. Here we show, by combining a series of experiments, meta-analyses and an expert survey, that the potential of CH4 mitigation from rice paddies through HI improvement is in fact small. Whereas HI improvement reduced CH4 emissions under continuously flooded (CF) irrigation, it did not affect CH4 emissions in systems with intermittent irrigation (II). We estimate that future plant breeding efforts aimed at HI improvement to the theoretical maximum value will reduce CH4 emissions in CF systems by 4.4%. However, CF systems currently make up only a small fraction of the total rice growing area (i.e., 27% of the Chinese rice paddy area). Thus, to achieve substantial CH4 mitigation from rice agriculture, alternative plant breeding strategies may be needed, along with alternative management.

KW - climate change

KW - food security

KW - greenhouse gases

KW - meta-analysis

KW - water management

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=85058446282&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=85058446282&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1111/gcb.14529

DO - 10.1111/gcb.14529

M3 - Article

C2 - 30449058

AN - SCOPUS:85058446282

JO - Global Change Biology

JF - Global Change Biology

SN - 1354-1013

ER -