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[en] As one of the important greenhouse gases, the characteristics and principles of methane exchange characteristics in cultivated lands have become hot topics in current climate change research. This study examines the influences of nitrogen fertilisation, temperature and soil water content on methane exchange characteristic and methane exchange functional gene-pmoA gene abundance based on experimental observations of methane exchange fluxes using the static chamber–gas chromatographic method and measurements of methanotroph gene copy numbers in three growing periods by real-time PCR in rain-fed potato fields. The results indicate that the rain-fed potato fields were a CH_4 sink with an average annual methane absorption (negative emission) of 940.8 ± 103.2 g CH_4-C/ha/year. The cumulative methane absorption first exhibited flat and subsequently increasing trend with the increase of nitrogen fertilisation from 0 ~ 135 kg N·ha"−"1. Methane cumulative absorption significantly increased with the increase of temperature when temperatures were below 19.6 °C. Methane oxidation capacity (methanotroph pmoA gene copy numbers) showed an increasing and subsequently decreasing trend with the increase of soil moisture. Crop rotation was observed to increase the methane absorption in rain-fed potato fields and nearly one time higher than that under continuous cropping. A mechanism concept model of the methane exchange in rain-fed potato fields was advanced in this paper. - Highlights: • Rain-fed potato fields were a CH_4 sink. • Increased nitrogen fertilisation and temperature led to higher CH_4 absorption. • CH_4 oxidation capacity showed a parabolic trend with soil moisture increased. • Crop rotation increased CH_4 absorption one time higher than continuous cropping. • A mechanism concept model of the CH_4 exchange in potato fields was advanced.