Measurements of N2O emission fluxes from a 3 ha field of winter wheat were measured using eddy covariance and relaxed eddy accumulation continuously over 10 days during April 1994. The measurements averaged fluxes over approximately 105 m2 of the field, which was fertilised with NH4NO3 at a rate of 43 kg N ha-1 at the beginning of the measurements. The emission fluxes became detectable after the first heavy rainfall, which occured 4 days after fertiliser application. Emissions of N2O increased rapidly during the day following the rain to a maximum of 280 ng N m-2s-1 and declined over the following week. During the period of significant emission fluxes, a clear diurnal cycle in N2O emission was observed, with the daytime maximum coinciding with the soil temperature maximum at 12 cm depth. The temperature dependence of the N2O emission was equivalent to an activation energy for N2O production of 108 kJ mol-1. The N2O fluxes measured using relaxed eddy accumulation, averaged over 30 to 270 min, were in agreement with those of the eddy covariance system within 60%. The total emission of N2O over the period of continuous measurement (10 days) was equivalent to about 10 kg N2O-N, or 0.77% of the N fertiliser applied
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