Global research alliance N2O chamber methodology guidelines: statistical considerations, emission factor calculation, and data reporting

CAM de Klein*, Marta A Alfaro, Donna Giltrap, CFE Topp, Priscila L Simon, Alasdair Noble, TJ van der Weerden

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)
22 Downloads (Pure)


Static chambers are often used for measuring nitrous oxide (N 2O) fluxes from soils, but statistical analysis of chamber data is challenged by the inherently heterogeneous nature of N 2O fluxes. Because N 2O chamber measurements are commonly used to assess N 2O mitigation strategies or to determine country-specific emission factors (EFs) for calculating national greenhouse gas inventories, it is important that statistical analysis of the data is sound and that EFs are robustly estimated. This paper is one of a series of articles that provide guidance on different aspects of N 2O chamber methodologies. Here, we discuss the challenges associated with statistical analysis of heterogeneous data, by summarizing statistical approaches used in recent publications and providing guidance on assessing normality and options for transforming data that follow a non-normal distribution. We also recommend minimum requirements for reporting of experimental and metadata of N 2O studies to ensure that the robustness of the results can be reliably evaluated. This includes detailed information on the experimental site, methodology and measurement procedures, gas analysis, data and statistical analyses, and approaches to generate EFs, as well as results of ancillary measurements. The reliability, robustness, and comparability of soil N 2O emissions data will be improved through (a) application, and reporting, of more rigorous methodological standards by researchers and (b) greater vigilance by reviewers and scientific editors to ensure that all necessary information is reported in scientific publications.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1156-1167
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Environmental Quality
Issue number5
Early online date17 Jul 2020
Publication statusPrint publication - Sep 2020

Bibliographical note

© 2020 The Authors. Journal of Environmental Quality published by Wiley Periodicals, Inc. on behalf of American Society of Agronomy, Crop Science Society of America, and Soil Science Society of America.


  • Greenhouse Gases
  • Nitrous Oxide/analysis
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Research Design
  • Soil


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