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Measuring Soil Nitrogen Mineralization Under Field Conditions

Westermann, D.T. and Crothers, S.E. (1980) Measuring Soil Nitrogen Mineralization Under Field Conditions. Agronomy Journal. 72:1009-1012.

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Abstract

The amount and rate of soil N mineralization are important
components that can be used to predict preplant
N fertilizer application and to evaluate the need for N
fertilization during crop growth. This study's purpose
was to evaluate the buried polyethylene bag technique
as a method for characterizing the N mineralized under
field conditions during the cropping season. Soil (Xerollic
Calciorthids) was placed in polyethylene bags and buried
in the 0 to 45 cm root zone of fallowed soils and where
corn (Zea mays L.) and potato (Solanum tuberosum L.)
were being grown. The NO?-N content of the soil in the
bags was compared with that in the root zone at selected
time intervals (10 to 14 days) from April to October.
The soil NO?-N concentrations in the buried polyethylene
bags were similar to those in irrigated fallow
soils from April to October after correction for different
soil water contents. The N-mineralization rate between
sampling intervals had an average temperature coefficient (Q??) of 2.3 between 10 C and 30 C. The relative
N mineralization rate was proportional to the soil water
content expressed as a percentage of the available water-holding
capacity. The N uptake by corn and potato crops
predicted from NO?-N changes in the rooting zone and in
the buried polyethylene bags resembled those measured
by plant sampling. The buried polyethylene bag technique
has potential for monitoring the soil N mineralization
process during the cropping season and for estimating
N uptake by crops. It also provides an alternative method
for estimating soil N availability for future crops and its
use should maximize N-fertilizer efficiencies.

Item Type: Article
NWISRL Publication Number: 0455
Subjects: Soil > Chemistry > Nitrogen
Mass Import - autoclassified (may be erroneous)
Depositing User: Dan Stieneke
Date Deposited: 20 Nov 2010 21:52
Last Modified: 31 Jan 2017 18:12
Item ID: 370
URI: https://eprints.nwisrl.ars.usda.gov/id/eprint/370