Greenhouse Gas Emissions from Intermittently Flooded (Dambo) Rice under Different Tillage Practices in Chiota Smallholder Farming Area of Zimbabwe


Agriculture is one of the biggest sources of greenhouse gases. Rice production has been identified as one of the major sources of greenhouse gases, especially methane. However, data on the contributions of rice towards greenhouse gas emissions in tropical Africa are limited. In Zimbabwe, as in most of Sub-Saharan Africa, there are very few studies that have explored greenhouse gas emissions from agricultural lands. This study reports the first dataset on greenhouse gas emissions from intermittently flooded rice paddies in Zimbabwe. The objective of this study was to quantify greenhouse gas emissions from dambo rice under different tillage treatments, which were conventional tillage, no tillage, tied ridges, tied fallows, and mulching. Average soil nitrous oxide emissions were 5.9, 0.2, 5.4, 5.2 and 7.8 μg·m-2·hr-1 for tied fallows, conventional tillage, tied ridges, mulching and no tillage respectively. Average methane emission was 0.35 mg·m-2·hr-1 and maximum as 1.62 mg·m-2·hr-1. Average methane emissions for the different tillage systems were 0.20, 0.18, 0.45, 0.52 and 0.38 mg·m-2·hr-1 for tied fallows, conventional tillage, tied ridges, mulching and no tillage respectively. Carbon dioxide emissions were 98.1, 56.0, 69.9, 94.8 and 95.5 mg·m-2·hr-1 for tied fallows, conventional tillage, tied ridges, mulching and no tillage respectively. The estimated emissions per 150 day cropping season were 1.4, 3.6 and 0.6 kg·ha-1 for methane, carbon dioxide and nitrous oxide respectively. We concluded that intermittently saturated dambo rice Paddys are a potential source of greenhouse gases which is important to global greenhouse gas budgets, thus, they deserve more careful study.

Share and Cite:

G. Nyamadzawo, M. Wuta, N. Chirinda, L. Mujuru and J. Smith, "Greenhouse Gas Emissions from Intermittently Flooded (Dambo) Rice under Different Tillage Practices in Chiota Smallholder Farming Area of Zimbabwe," Atmospheric and Climate Sciences, Vol. 3 No. 4A, 2013, pp. 13-20. doi: 10.4236/acs.2013.34A003.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


[1] P. Smith, D. Martino, Z. Cai, D. Gwary, H. Janzen, P. Kumar, B. McCarl, S. Ogle, F. O’Mara, C. Rice, B. Scholes and O. Sirotenko, “Agriculture,” In: B. Metz, O. R. Davidson, P. R. Bosch, R. Dave and L. A. Meyer, Eds., Climate Change 2007: Mitigation. Contribution of Working Group III to the Fourth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. United Kingdom and New York, NY, USA, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 2007.
[2] A. R. Mosier, C. Kroeze, C. Nevison, O. Oenema, S. Seitzinger and O. van Cleemput, “Closing the Global N2O Budget: Nitrous Oxide Emissions through the Agricultural Nitrogen Cycle. OECD/IPCC/IEA Phase II Development of IPCC Guidelines for National Greenhouse Gas Inventory Methodology,” Nutrient Cycling in Agroecosystems, Vol. 52, No. 2-3, 1998, pp. 225-248. 10.1023/A:1009740530221
[3] J. K. Mutegi, L. J. Munkholm, B. M. Petersen, E. M. Hansen and S. O. Petersen, “Nitrous Oxide Emissions and Controls as Influenced by Tillage and Crop Residue Management Strategy,” Soil Biology and Biochemistry, Vol. 42, No. 10, 2010, pp. 1701-1711. soilbio.2010.06.004
[4] R. M. Rees, M. Wuta, P. A. Furley and C. S. Li, “Nitrous Oxide Fluxes from Savanna (Miombo) Woodlands in Zimbabwe,” Journal of Biogeography, Vol. 33, No. 3, 2006, pp. 424-437.
[5] F. Takakai, T. Morishita, Y. Hashidoko, U. Darung, K. Kuramochi, S. Dohong, S. H. Limin and R. Hatano, “Effects of Agricultural Land-Use Change and Forest Fire on N2O Emission from Tropical Peatlands, Central Kalimantan, Indonesia,” Soil Science and Plant Nutrition, Vol. 52, No. 5, 2006, pp. 662-674.
[6] P. Camberlin, V. Moron, R. Okoola, N. Philippon and W. Gitau, “Components of Rainy Seasons’ Variability in Equatorial East Africa: Onset, Cessation, Rainfall Frequency and Intensity,” Theoretical and Applied Climatology, Vol. 98, No. 3-4, 2009, pp. 237-249.
[7] G. Nyamadzawo, M. Wuta, J. Nyamangara, J. L. Smith and R. M. Rees, “Integrated Nutrient Management Practices in Dambo Gardens and Their Effects on GHG Emissions,” Working Paper, 2013.
[8] E. Kuntashula, G. Sileshi, P. L. Mafongoya and J. Banda, “Farmer Participatory Evaluation of the Potential for Organic Vegetable Production in the Wetlands of Zambia,” Outlook on Agriculture, Vol. 35, No. 4, 2006, pp. 299-305.
[9] A. Woods, “Valuing Wetlands for Livelihoods as the Basis for Sustainable Management: The SAB Approach,” Striking a Balance, Policy Briefing Note 1. UK, Wetland Action and the Centre for Wetlands, Environment and Livelihoods at the University of Huddersfield, 2009.
[10] M. A. K. Khalil, M. J. Shearer, R. A. Rasmussen, C. Duan and R. Lexin, “Production, Oxidation, and Emissions of Methane from Rice Fields in China,” Geophysical Research, Vol. 113, No. G3, 2008, in press.
[11] J. Le Mer and P. Roger, “Production, Oxidation, Emission and Consumption of Methane by Soils: A Review,” European Journal of Soil Biology, Vol. 37, No. 1, 2001, pp. 25-50. 10.1016/S1164-5563(01)01067-6
[12] C. Thierfelder and P. C. Wall, “Effects of Conservation Agriculture Techniques on Infiltration and Soil Water Content in Zambia and Zimbabwe,” Soil Tillage Research, Vol. 105, No. 2, 2009, pp. 217-227.
[13] G. Branca, N. McCarthy, L. Lipper and M. C. Jolejole, “Identifying Opportunities for Climate-Smart Agriculture Investments in Africa,” FAO, Rome, 2011.
[14] S. C. Taylor, P. R. Zimmerman, C. Cumberbatch, J. P. Greenberg, C. Westberg and J. P. E. Darlington, “Measurements and Interpretation of δ13C of Methane from Termites, Rice Paddies and Wetlands from Kenya,” Global Biogeochemical Cycles, Vol. 2, No. 4, 1988, pp. 341-355. 10.1029/GB002i004p00341
[15] FAO, “World Reference Base for Soil Resources: A Framework for International Classification, Correlation and Communication,” World Soil Resources Report 103, Rome, 2006, p. 128.
[16] M. A. K. Khalil and R. A. Rasmussen, “Flux Measurements and Sampling Strategies: Applications to Methane Emissions from Rice Fields,” Journal of Geophysical Research, Vol. 103, No. D19, 1998, pp. 25211-25218.
[17] F. Mapanda, J. Mupini, M. Wuta, J. Nyamangara and R. M. Rees, “A Cross-Ecosystem Assessment of the Effects of Land Cover and Land Use on Soil Emission of Selected Greenhouse Gases and Related Soil Properties in Zimbabwe,” European Journal of Soil Science, Vol. 61, No. 5, 2010, pp. 721-733.
[18] D. J. Brown, G. Nyamadzawo and P. E. Denison, “Spatially Distributed Methane Measurement for a Tropical Dambo Wetland Landscape in Uganda,” American Geophysical Union, San Francisco, 2008.
[19] M. A. K. Khalil, R. A. Rasmussen, M. J. Shearer, R. W. Dalluge, R. Lexin and C. Duan, “Factors Affecting Methane Emissions from Rice Fields,” Geophysical Research, Vol. 103, No. D19, 1998, pp. 25219-25231.
[20] B. B. Otter and M. C. Scholes, “Methane Sources and Sinks in Periodically Flooded South African Savanna,” Global Biogeochemical Cycles, Vol. 14, No. 1, 2000, pp. 97-111. 1999GB900068
[21] S. Glatzel and K. Stahr, “Methane and Nitrous Oxide Exchange in Differently Fertilized Grassland in Southern Germany,” Plant and Soil, Vol. 231, No. 1, 2001, pp. 21-35. A:1010315416866
[22] L. Chapuis-Lardy, N. Wrage, A. Metay, J. L. Chotte and M. Bernoux, “Soils, a Sink for N2O? A Review,” Global Change Biology, Vol. 13, No. 1, 2007, pp. 1-17. 01280.x
[23] Z. Q. Xiong, G. X. Xing, H. Shuruta, G. Y. Shen, S. L. Shi and L. J. Du, “Measurement of Nitrous Oxide Emissions from Two Rice Based Cropping Systems in China,” Nutrient Cycling in Agrocecosystems, Vol. 64, No. 1-2, 2002, pp. 125-133.
[24] M. C. Scholes, R. J. Scholes, D. Parsons, R. Martin and E. Winstead, “NO and N2O Emissions from Savanna Soils Following the First Rains,” Nutrient Cycling in Agroecosystems, Vol. 48, No. 1-2, pp. 115-122.
[25] J. Dick, B. Kaya, M. Soutoura, U. Skiba, R. Smith, A. Niang and R. Tabo, “The Contribution of Agricultural Practices to Nitrous Oxide Emissions in Semi-Arid Mali,” Soil Use and Management, Vol. 24, No. 3, 2008, pp. 292-301.
[26] F. R. Freney, “Emission of Nitrous Oxide from Soils Used from Agriculture,” Nutrient Cycling in Agroecosystems, Vol. 49, No. 1-3, 1997, pp. 1-6.
[27] A. R. Mosier, S. K. Mohanty, A. Bhadrachalam and S. P. Chakravorti, “Evolution of Dinitrogen and Nitrous Oxide from the Soil to the Atmosphere through Rice Plants,” Biology and Fertility of Soils, Vol. 9, No. 1, 1990, pp. 61-67.
[28] S. Whalen and W Reeburgh, “Methane Oxidation, Production and Emission at Contrasting Sites in a Boreal Bog,” Biomicrobial Journal, Vol. 17, 2000, pp. 237-251.
[29] IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change), “Contribution of Working Group III to the Fourth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change,” In: B. Metz, O. R. Davidson, P. R. Bosch, R. Dave and L. A. Meyer, Eds., Climate Change 2007, Fourth Assessment Report, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 2007.
[30] S. Castaldi and A. Fierro, “A Soil-Atmosphere Methane Exchange in Undisturbed and Burned Mediterranean Shrubland of Southern Italy,” Ecosystems, Vol. 8, No. 2, 2005, pp. 182-190.
[31] M. Scholes and M. O. Andreae, “Biogenic and Pyrogenic Emissions from Africa and Their Impact on the Global Atmosphere,” AMBIO, Vol. 29, No. 1, 2000, pp. 20-23.
[32] A. E. Altor and W. J. Mitsch, “Methane Flux from Created Riparian Marshes: Relationship to Intermittent Versus Continuous Inundation and Emergent Macrophytes,” Ecological Engineering, Vol. 28, No. 3, 2006, pp. 224-234.
[33] L. Marani and P. C. Alvala, “Methane Emission from Lakes and Floodplains in Pantanal, Brazil,” Atmospheric Environment, Vol. 41, No. 8, 2007, pp. 11627-1633. atmosenv.2006.10.046
[34] FAO, “Bridging the Rice Yield Gap in China,” 2000. x6905e00.htm
[35] Y. F. Shi, W. L.Wu, F. Q. Meng, Z. H. Zhang, L. Zheng and D. P. Wang, “Integrated Management Practices Significantly Affect N2O Emissions and Wheat-Maize Production at Field Scale in the North China Plain,” Nutrient Cycling in Agroecosystems, Vol. 95, No. 2, 2013, pp. 203-218.
[36] C. G. Scheer, R. Peter, D. W. Rowlings and J. Payero, “Nitrous Oxide Emissions from Irrigated Wheat in Australia: Impact of Irrigation Management,” Plant and Soil, Vol. 359, No. 1-2, 2012, pp. 351-362.

Copyright © 2023 by authors and Scientific Research Publishing Inc.

Creative Commons License

This work and the related PDF file are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.