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Research article - Peer-reviewed, 1993

Relationship between N immobilization and volatile fatty acids in soil after application of pig and cattle slurry

Kirchmann, Holger; Lundvall, Anders


A laboratory study was performed to determine decomposition of fatty aicds and mineralization of C and N from slurries in soil. Fatty acids present in slurries decomposed within 1 - 2 days at 25-degrees-C in soil. Parallel to the fatty acid decomposition, immobilization of N was measured in soil. The correlation between the initial fatty acid concentrations in the slurries and the amounts of N immobilized were found to be highly significant (R2 = 0.97). It was concluded that fatty acids act as an easily decomposable C source for microorganisms and cause immobilization of N. Immobilization of N was followed by a curvilinear mineralization of N in all slurry-treated soils. Despite mineralization, only fresh pig slurry and anaerobically digested pig slurry showed a net release of N over 70 days whereas cattle slurry and anaerobically fermented pig slurry did not. The percentage of slurry C evolved during 70 days was fresh pig slurry, 65%; anaerobically fermented pig slurry, 48%; anaerobically digested pig slurry, 45%; and anaerobically fermented cattle slurry, 42%.



Published in

Biology and Fertility of Soils
1993, volume: 15, number: 3, pages: 161-164

Authors' information

Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Department of Soil Sciences
Lundvall, Anders
Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Department of Soil Sciences

UKÄ Subject classification

Agricultural Science
Soil Science

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