Open Access Open Access  Restricted Access Subscription or Fee Access

Studies on DIEL Variation of Methane Fluxes from Rice Paddy Ecosystems of South India

S. Venkatesh


Wet land rice paddy ecosystems have been recently identified as a major source of atmospheric methane, which is currently increasing at 7ppbv yr-1. Methane emission form rice paddies indicate a global source of 60 Tg yr-1. The CH4 emission rates vary significantly with the types of soil, cultivar variety, and cultivar age and water management. The expansion of irrigated cultivation area and new cultivation practices have made rice fields one of most important anthropogenic sources for atmospheric CH4. The CH4 emission from paddy ecosystems is controlled by physical processes (diffusion, ebullition and ventilation) and biological processes (microbial production and consumption). Thus in an effort to reduce uncertainties, in the present study diel variation of methane fluxes were measured from control, Pseudomonas and nemento amended rice cores for 24 hours at an interval of 30 minutes during tillering, reproductive and harvesting stages of growth of rice plants. The CH4 emission rates increased at accelerated rates and were maximum during the early afternoon (14- 15 hours, 2.59 – 9.35 mg/m2) and decreased rapidly and remained constant during night (8.19 -7.71 mg/m2). The diel CH4 emission in all the rice cores were lower during the tillering stage (2.18 – 7.17 mg/m2) and higher at the reproductive stage of the plant (2.59 – 9.50 mg/m2). This is probably due to higher soil Eh during the initial stage of plant growth. The methane emission was lower in night because low soil temperature at night causes low CH4 production rates. Also higher ambient CO2 concentration in the canopy during night reduces the transport of CH4 through plants. The CH4 emission rates decreases in Nemento amended cores (6.35 mg/m2) than Control cores (8.41 mg/m2) as nemento (product from neem) being nitrification inhibitor reduces CH4 production in soil. The Pseudomonas amended cores resulted in less CH4 emission (6.9 mg/m2) than Control cores as pseudomonas being a denitrifying bacteria helps reducing CH4 emission.


Anoxic Soils, Methane Emission, Methane Flux, Methanogenesis, Rice Paddies

Full Text:



Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, “ Climate Change, „In: Houghton J.T. , Ding Y., Griggs D.J., Noguer M., van de Linden P.J., Dai X., Johnson C.A., Maskell, K., (eds), A Scientific basis, (IPCC), Cambridge University Press, 2001, UK

Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, “ Radiative forcing of climate change and an evaluation of the IPCC IS92 emission scenarios,” Cambridge University Press, 1994, New York, USA

Wassmann R., Lantin R.S., Neue H.U., Corton T.N., and Lu Y, “Characteristics of methane emission form rice fields in Asia (III) Mitigation options for future research needs,” Nutrient Cycling in Agro ecosystems, 2000 Vol.58, pp23-31.

Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change IPCC, “Guidelines for National Greenhouse Gas Inventories,” Chapter 4. Agriculture: Nitrous oxide from agricultural soils and manure managements, 1997, OECD, Paris France, 1997.

International Rice Research Institute (IRRI), “World Rice Statistics 1990. IRRI Dept. of Agricultural Economics,” 1991, Los Banos, Philippines.

International Rice Research Institute, “Rice Almanac” 2nd ed. Los Banos,” 1997, Philippines, 181p.

Neue H.U. and Roger P.A., “Rice agriculture: factors controlling emissions. In: Atmospheric Methane: Sources, Sinks and Role in Global Change,” (Khalil, M.A.K. ed.), Springer-Verlag, Berlin, 1993, pp. 254–298.

Bouwmann A.F., “Exchange of greenhouse gases between terrestrial ecosystem and the atmosphere,” In: Soils and the Greenhouse Effect. Bouwmann A. F. (ed.), John Wiley and Sons, 1990, New York, pp.61–192.

Lelieveld J, Curtzen P.J., and Bruhl C., “Climatic effects of atmospheric methane,” Chemosphere 1993, Vol. 26, pp. 739-768.

Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), „Climate change 1995. The science of climate change‟. Cambridge UK: Cambridge University Press, New York, USA.

Stams A.J.M., “Metabolic interactions between anaerobic bacteria in methanogenic environments,” Ant. Leeuwenhoek, 1994, Vol. 66, pp.271-294.

Conrad R., Schutz H. and Babbel M., “Temperature limitations of hydrogen turnover and methanogenesis in anoxic paddy soils,” FEMS Microbiol. Ecol., 1987, Vol. 45, pp. 281–289.

Whitman W.B., Bowen T.C. and Boone D.R., “The methanogenic bacteria,” In: The Prokaryotes (Balows, A., Truper, H.G., Dworkin, M., Harder, W., and Schleifer, K.H. eds.), Springer Verlag, Berlin, 1992, pp. 716–767.

Zinder S.H., “Physiological ecology of methanogen, J.D. Ferry (ed.), Methanogenesis: Ecology, Physiology Biochemistry and Genetics,” Chapman & Hall, 1993, New York, pp.128–206.

Brynes B.H., Austin E.R. and Tays B.K., “Methane emission from flooded rice soils and plants under controlled conditions,” Soil Biol. Biochem., 1995, Vol. 27 pp. 331–339.

Acharya C.N., “Studies on the anaerobic decomposition of plant material, I, The anaerobic decomposition of rice straw (Oryza sativa),” Biochem. J., 1930, Vol. 29, pp. 541-578.

Koyama T., “Gaseous metabolism in lake sediments and paddy soils and the products of atmospheric methane and hydrogen,” J.Geophys. Res., 1963, Vol. 68, pp. 3971- 3973.

Cicerone R.J., and Shetter J.D., “Sources of atmospheric methane measurements in rice paddies and a discussion,” J Geophys. Res., 1981, Vol. 86, pp. 7203-7209.

Seiler W., Holzapfel-Pschorn A., Conrad R., and Scharfee D., “Methane emission from rice paddies,” J.Atmos. Chem. 1984, Vol. 1, pp.241-268.

Schutz H., Seiler W., and Conrad R., “Influence of soil temperature on methane emission from rice paddy fields,” Biogeochem., 1990, Vol. 11, pp. 77-95.

Yagi K. and Minami K., “Effects of organic matter application on methane emission from Japanese Paddy fields,” In: Soil and the Greenhouse Effects (A.F. Bouwman ed.,) 1990, John Wiley and Sons, pp. 467-473.

International Rice Research institute, IRRI, “Rice Almanac 2nd ed. Los Banos,” 1997, Philippines, 181p.

Mitra A.P., Prabhat K. Gupta and Sharma C., “Refinement in methodologies for methane budget estimation from rice paddies,” Nutr. Cycl. Agroecosys, 2002, Vol. 64, pp. 147- 155.

Purvaja R., and Ramesh R., “Natural and anthropogenic methane emission from coastal wetland of South India,” Environ. Manage. 2000, Vol. 27, pp. 547-57

Bosse U, and Frenzel P. „Activity and distribution of methane oxidizing bacteria in flooded rice microcosms and in rice plants (Oryza sativa),” Appl. Environ. Microbiol. 1997, Vol. 63, pp. 1199-1207.

Gupta P.K., and Mitra A.P., “Global Change Greenhouse gases in India: ADB Methane Asia Campaign (MAC 98),” Scientific report No: 19, 1999, pp. 1-118.

Cicerone R.J., Delwiche C.C., Tyler S.C. and Zimmerman P.R., “Methane emissions from California rice paddies with varied treatments,” Global Biogeochemical Cycles, 1992, Vol. 6(3), pp. 233–248.

Prinn R.G., “Global atmospheric-biospheric chemistry. In Prinn, R.G. (Ed.) Global atmospheric- biospheric chemistry‟, Plenum Press, 1994, New York, pp. 1–18.

Soil survey report, „Soil survey report of Ponneri taluk‟, Report No. 58, pp. 1-70.

Pingali P.L., Hossain M., and Gerpacio R.V., „ Asian rice bowls- the returning crisis‟, Wallingford (UK), (1997), Vol. 24, pp. 29-96.

Wassmann, R., Papen, H., and Rennenberg, H., “Methane emission form rice paddies and possible mitigation strategies,” Chemosphere. 1993, Vol. 26, pp.201–217.

Minami K. and Neue H.U., “Rice paddies as the methane source Climate change,” 1994, Vol.27, pp.13–26.

Wang M. and Shangguan X.J., “CH4 emission from various rice fields in P.R. China,” Theor. Appl. Climatol., 1996, Vol.55, pp.129– 38.

Yoshida S., “Fundamentals of Rice Crop Science,” International Rice Research Institute, 1981, P.O. Box 933, Manila, Philippines. 269 p.

Ghosh S, Majumdar D, and Jain M.D., “Methane and nitrous oxide emissions from irrigated rice of North India,” Chemosphere, 2003, Vol. 51, pp. 181-195.

Parashar D.C., Rai J., Gupta P.K. and Singh N., “Parameters affecting methane emission from rice paddy fields,” Indian Journal of Radio and Space Physics, 1991, Vol. 20, pp.12–17.

Wang Z, DeLaaune R.D., Masscheleyn P.H., and Patrick Jr. W. H., „ Soil Redox and pH effects on methane production in a flooded rice spoil‟, Soil Sci. Soc. Am. J., (1993), Vol. 57, pp. 382-385.

Ponnamperuma F.N., “The chemistry of submerged soils‟, Advances in Agronomy, 1972, Vol. 24, pp.29–96.

Sexstone A.J. and Mains C.N., “Production of methane and ethylene in organic horizons of spruce forest soils,” Soil Biol. Biochem., 1990, Vol.22, pp.135–139.

Dunfield P., Knowles R., Dumont R. and Moore T.R., “Methane production and consumption in temperate and sub arctic peat soils–response to temperature and pH,” Soil Biol. Biochem., 1993, Vol. 25, pp.321–326.

Conrad R., Bak F., Seitz F., Thebrath. B., Mayer H.P. and Schutz H., “Hydrogen turnover by psychrotrophic homoacetogenic and mesophilic methanogenic bacteria in anoxic paddy soil and lake sediment,” FEMS Microbiol. Ecol., 1989, Vol. 62, pp.285–294.

Krumbock M. and Conrad R., “Metabolism of position labeled glucose in anoxic methanogenic paddy soil and lake sediments,” FEMS Microbiol. Ecol., 1991, Vol.85, pp. 247–256.

Thebrath B., Mayer P. and Conrad R., “Bi-carbonate dependent production and methanogenic consumption of acetate in anoxic paddy soil,” FEMS Microbiol. Ecol., 1992, Vol.86, pp.295–302.

Pathak h., Prasad S., Bhatia A., Shalini-Singh, Kumar S, Singh J, and Jain M. C., “ Methane emission from rice wheat cropping system in the indo- Gangetic plain in relation to irrigation, farmyard manure and dicyandiamide application Agriculture,” Ecosystems and Environment, 2003, Vol. 97, pp. 309-316.

Keerthisinghe D.G., Freeney J.R. and Mosier A.R., “Effect of wax coated calcium carbide and nitrapyrin on nitrogen loss and methane emission from dry-seeded flooded rice,” Biol. Fertl. Soils, 1993, Vol.16, pp. 71–75.

Le Mer J, and Roger P., “Production oxidation, emission and consumption of methane by soils: A review,” J. Soil. Biol., 2001, Vol. 37, pp.25-30.

Kimura M, Mitra Y, Watanabe A, Murase J, and Kuwatsuka S. “Methane production and its fate in paddy fields 1. Effects of rice straw application and percolation rate on the leaching of methane and other soil components into the subsoil,” Soil Sci. Plant Nutr., 1992, Vol. 38, pp. 665-672.

Brynes B.H., Austin E.R., and Tays B.K., “Methane emission from flooded rice soil and plants under controlled conditions,” Soil Biol. Biochem., 1995, Vol., 27, pp. 331-339.

Bharati K, Mohanty S.R, Padmavathi P.V.L, Rao V.R., and Adhya T.K., „ Influence of six nitrification inhibitors on methane production in a flooded alluvial soil,‟ Nutr. Cycl. Agroecosys, (2000), Vol. 58, pp. 389-394.

Kluber H.D., and Conrad R., „Effects of nitrate, nitrite, NO and N2O on methanogenesis and other redox processes in anoxic rice field soil,‟ FEMS Microbial Ecology, (1998), Vol. 22, pp. 301-328.


  • There are currently no refbacks.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.