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Quantifying biological nitrogen fixation of different catch crops, and residual effects of roots and tops on nitrogen uptake in barley using in-situ 15N labelling

Li, Xiaoxi; Sørensen, Peter; Li, Fucui; Petersen, Søren O. and Olesen, Jørgen E. (2015) Quantifying biological nitrogen fixation of different catch crops, and residual effects of roots and tops on nitrogen uptake in barley using in-situ 15N labelling. Plant and Soil, 395 (1), pp. 273-287.

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Online at: http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s11104-015-2548-8/fulltext.html

Summary

Background and aims
Contributions of legume-based catch crops (LBCCs) to succeeding cereals may be significant. We quantified biological N fixation (BNF) and residual N effects of contrasting CC tops and roots.
Methods
BNF of three LBCCs (red clover, winter vetch, perennial ryegrass-red clover mixture) was quantified in microplots by 15N labelling. Their residual effects on spring barley were tested against two non-LBCCs (perennial ryegrass, fodder radish) after spring incorporation of CC tops or roots in monoliths.
Results
Total N accumulated in LBCCs was 153–226 kg N ha−1, of which 62–66 % was derived from BNF in tops and 31–46 % in macro-roots (0–18 cm soil). Macro-roots represented 31–50 % of total plant N. LBCCs showed similar capacity for soil N extraction as non-LBCCs. After incorporation of LBCC residues, the dry matter and N yields of spring barley were comparable to the effect of 50 kg N fertilisation ha−1, whereas no extra N uptake was derived from non-LBCCs. The 15N-based N fertiliser values of LBCC tops were 34–47 % against 26–29 % for non-LBCCs.
Conclusions
LBCC roots contributed substantial amounts of N to the system, a source that is usually underestimated. N immobilisation after incorporation of non-LBCCs may hamper the growth of following main crops especially after removing tops.


EPrint Type:Journal paper
Keywords:Legume-based catch crop, Biological N fixation, Soil N uptake, Residual N effect, 15N isotope dilution, Spring barley
Subjects: Crop husbandry > Production systems > Pasture and forage crops
Crop husbandry > Production systems > Cereals, pulses and oilseeds
Soil > Nutrient turnover
Farming Systems > Farm nutrient management
Research affiliation: Denmark > Organic RDD 1 > HighCrop
Denmark > AU - Aarhus University > Faculty of Science and Technology > Department of Agroecology
FP7 Grant Agreement Number:245216
ISSN:0032-079X
DOI:10.1007/s11104-015-2548-8
Deposited By: Li, Xiaoxi
ID Code:30110
Deposited On:17 May 2016 08:55
Last Modified:17 May 2016 08:55
Document Language:English
Status:Published
Refereed:Peer-reviewed and accepted

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