EGU24-11070, updated on 08 Mar 2024
EGU General Assembly 2024
© Author(s) 2024. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Increased N2O emissions by the soil nematode community cannot be fully explained by enhanced mineral N availability

Junwei Hu1, Meng Kong2, Astrid Françoys1, Farideh Yarahmadi1, Orly Mendoza1, Ummehani Hassi1, Mesfin T. Gebremikael3, Wim Wesemael4,5, Steven Sleutel1, and Stefaan De Neve1
Junwei Hu et al.
  • 1Department of Environment, Ghent University, Gent, Belgium (
  • 2Department of Agroecology, Aarhus University, Aarhus, Denmark
  • 3Department of Food Science, Aarhus University, Aarhus, Denmark
  • 4Plant Sciences Unit, Flanders Research Institute for Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, Melle, Belgium
  • 5Department of Plants and Crops, Ghent University, Gent, Belgium

Soil nematodes, being the most abundant soil fauna, can significantly impact soil N mineralization via interaction with soil microorganisms. As a consequence, nematodes likely also influence soil N2O production and emissions but the very few studies on this matter were carried out in simplified setups with single nematode species and in (highly) disturbed soil conditions. Here we measured soil N2O emissions in a 74-day incubation experiment in the presence or absence of the entire soil nematode community with minimal disturbance of the soil microbial community and soil nutrients. This was e.g. evidenced by readily recovery of nitrifiers after the mild and selective sterilization and soil powder inoculation. N2O emissions increased in the presence of nematodes, varying between soils +747.7 % in a loamy sand, +55.8 % in a loam, and +51.9 % in a silt loam cropland topsoil, in line with nematode abundance in these soils. In particular, the loamy sand soil showed an atypical N2O emission peak at the time of high nematode abundance. Soil nematodes also increased net N mineralization by +8.4, +6.8 and +4.75 %, in these respective soils and to a smaller extent C mineralization as well. The extra soil nitrate buildup and the overall net stimulation of N mineralization by nematodes could not or just slightly explain the observed increased N2O emissions. This research revealed the important role of soil nematodes in regulating N2O emissions, and further stresses the need to consider the change in community composition and activity of denitrifiers, and connectivity of soil pores, rather than the stimulation of N mineralization as potential explanations for this role of nematodes.

How to cite: Hu, J., Kong, M., Françoys, A., Yarahmadi, F., Mendoza, O., Hassi, U., Gebremikael, M. T., Wesemael, W., Sleutel, S., and De Neve, S.: Increased N2O emissions by the soil nematode community cannot be fully explained by enhanced mineral N availability, EGU General Assembly 2024, Vienna, Austria, 14–19 Apr 2024, EGU24-11070,, 2024.