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The Influence of Nitrogen on Straw Decomposition in the Field and Laboratory

Smith, J.H. (1969) The Influence of Nitrogen on Straw Decomposition in the Field and Laboratory. pp. 77-82. In: Proc. 8th Ann. Wash. State Potato Conf. USA-WA-Moses Lake, 1969/02.


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Decomposition of straw and other organic materials in soil is carried out by many living organisms. One pound of a fertile agricultural soil may contain as many as 4. 5 billion bacteria, 900 million actinomycetes, 50 million fungi, and 10 million algae. Most of these organisms are beneficial, although a few are pathogenic and cause disease to plants. All of these organisms require certain nutrients and growth factors for their growth and reproduction. For instance the temperature must be in the range of about 50 to 100° F. and moisture in the range of 60 to 80% of field capacity for rapid microbial growth. They must have energy and this is generally obtained from some carbohydrate source such as dead plant material. Most of the organisms require air and several nutrients such as nitrogen, phosphorus, calcium, potassium, sulfur, iron and trace elements as well as carbon, hydrogen and oxygen (1). These nutrients and conditions are generally found in soils in which crops will grow. Occasionally nitrogen may be deficient enough to limit growth of organisms and limit straw decomposition.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
NWISRL Publication Number: 0143
Subjects: Mass Import - unclassified
Depositing User: Dan Stieneke
Date Deposited: 20 Nov 2010 21:56
Last Modified: 10 Mar 2017 23:29
Item ID: 969

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