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C and N turnover in structurally intact soils of different texture

Thomsen, I. K.; Schjønning, P.; Olesen, J.E. and Christensen, B. T. (2003) C and N turnover in structurally intact soils of different texture. Soil Biology & Biochemistry, 35 (6), pp. 765-774.

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Summary

The turnover of native and applied C and N in undisturbed soil samples of different texture but similar mineralogical composition, origin and cropping history was evaluated at –10 kPa water potential. Cores of structurally intact soil with 108, 224 and 337 g clay kg-1 were horizontially sliced and 15N-labelled sheep faeces was placed between the two halves of the intact core. The cores together with unamended treatments were incubated in the dark at 20°C and the evolution of CO2-C determined continuously for 177 d. Inorganic and microbial biomass N and 15N were determined periodically. Net nitrification was less in soil amended with faeces compared with unamended soil. When adjusted for the NO3-N present in soil before faeces was applied, net nitrification became negative indicating that NO3-N had been immobilized or denitrified. The soil most rich in clay nitrified least N and 15N. The amounts of N retained in the microbial biomass in unamended soils increased with clay content. A maximum of 13% of the faeces 15N was recovered in the microbial biomass in the amended soils. CO2-C evolution increased with clay content in amended and unamended soils. CO2-C evolution from the most sandy soil was reduced due to a low content of potentially mineralizable native soil C whereas the rate constant of C mineralization rate peaked in this soil. When the pool of potentially mineralizable native soil C was assumed proportional to volumetric water content, the three soils contained similar proportions of potentially mineralizable native soil C but the rate constant of C mineralization remained highest in the soil with least clay. Thus although a similar availability of water in the three soils was ensured by their identical matric potential, the actual volume of water seemed to determine the proportion of total C that was potentially mineralizable. The proportion of mineralizable C in the faeces was similar in the three soils (70% of total C), again with a higher rate constant of C mineralization in the soil with least clay. It is hypothesized that the pool of potentially mineralizable C and C rate constants fluctuate with the water content and in the long term result in similar total C content irrespective of texture.


EPrint Type:Journal paper
Subjects: Soil > Nutrient turnover
Research affiliation: Denmark > DARCOF II (2000-2005) > I. 4 (NIMAB) Enhanced bread wheat production
Deposited By: Thomsen, Senior scientist Ingrid Kaag
ID Code:272
Deposited On:02 Dec 2002
Last Modified:02 Aug 2012 11:18
Document Language:English
Status:Published
Refereed:Peer-reviewed and accepted

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