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Research article2004Peer reviewed

Soil NH4+ fixation and fertilizer N recovery as affected by soil moisture and fertilizer application methods

Tong YA, Emteryd O, Grip H, Lu DQ


Ammonium fixation and the effects of soil moisture and application methods on fertilizer N recovery were investigated in two soils of Shaanxi Province, China, a Luvisol and an Entisol, through two experiments performed in the laboratory and in a glass shelter, respectively, by using ammonium bicarbonate (NH4HCO3). The laboratory closed incubation box experiment was conducted using the Luvisol to study NH4+ fixation rate at soil moisture levels of 10.1%, 22.7% and 35.3% water filled pore space (WFPS). The fixed NH4+-N increased dramatically to 51% and 66%, 67% and 74%, and 82% and 85% 1, 2 and 36 h after fertilizer incorporation at moisture levels of 10.1% and 22.7% WFPS and 35.3% WFPS, respectively. The rapid NH4+ fixation rates at all moisture levels could help prevent NH4+ losses from ammonia volatilization. In the glass shelter pot experiment, N fertilizer was applied by either banding (in a concentrated strip) or incorporating (thoroughly mixing) with the Entisol and the Luvisol. An average of 74.2% of the added N fertilizer was recovered 26 days after application to the Luvisol, while only 61.4% could be recovered from the Entisol, due to higher NH4+ fixation capacity of the Luvisol. The amount of fixed NH4+ decreased with increasing WFPS. The amount of fixed NH4+ in the incorporated fertilizer treatment was, on average, 10% higher than that in the banded treatment. Higher NH4+ fixation rates could prevent N loss and thus increase N recovery. The results from the Luvisol showed lower nitrogen recovery as soil moisture level increased, which could be explained by the fact that most of the fixed NH4+ was still not released when the soil moisture level was low. When the fertilizer was incorporated into the soil, the recovery of N increased, compared with the banded treatment, by an average of 26.2% in the Luvisol and 11.2% in the Entisol, which implied that when farmers applied fertilizer, it would be best to mix it well with the soil

Published in

2004, Volume: 14, number: 2, pages: 247-252 Publisher: SCIENCE CHINA PRESS

      SLU Authors

    • Emteryd, Ove

      • Department of Forest Ecology, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences
      • Grip, Harald

        • Department of Forest Ecology, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences

      UKÄ Subject classification

      Environmental Sciences related to Agriculture and Land-use

      Permanent link to this page (URI)