The release of N2O from the snow surface in winter and the soil in summer was measured in ten types of temperate ecosystems (bare ground, grassland, forest, marsh, and crop field) in Japan. The snow-covered crop field emitted by far the largest amount of N2O during the winter. Among the snow-covered natural ecosystems studied, marshy ecosystems showed the largest effluxes of N2O. Based on results showing that the magnitude of the winter N2O fluxes was not negligible compared with that of the summer N2O fluxes and because the snow period in the areas studied area is sufficiently long, we suggest that the winter N2O fluxes contribute significantly to the annual emission of N2O in the study areas.
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