Mineralizable nitrogen responds differently to manure type in contrasting soil textures


Thomas, B.W., Sharifi, M., Whalen, J.K., Chantigny, M.H. (2015). Mineralizable nitrogen responds differently to manure type in contrasting soil textures. Soil Science Society of America Journal, [online] 79(5), 1396-1405. http://dx.doi.org/10.2136/sssaj2015.03.0124

Plain language summary



Manuring soil alters mineralizable N pools and organic matter fractions, but the magnitude is manure-type and soil-texture specific, complicating prediction of N mineralization. Our objective was to determine the responses of residual soil mineralizable N parameters to manure-type and evaluate their relationships to initial organic C and N fractions, C/N ratios, and mineral N concentrations in sandy loam and silty clay soils after three annual spring applications of manure. Manure types were liquid swine manure (LSM), liquid dairy cattle manure (LCM), or solid poultry manure (SPM), all applied at 90 kg available N ha-1 yr-1. Mineral fertilizer (NPK) and a zero-N control (CTL) were also included. Composite soil samples collected (0-to 20-cm depth) before manure application were aerobically incubated at 25°C for 48 wk. Both soils mineralized N linearly over 48 wk (r2 = 0.96-0.99) and the silty clay soil did not converge to nonlinear, first-order kinetics. Pool I (N mineralized in first 2 wk) was the only mineralizable N pool affected by manure-type, which was depleted by SPM in the sandy loam and increased by LCM in the silty clay. Salt extractable organic N was significantly correlated to Pool I in both soil textures. Only Pool I was significantly correlated with N mineralized over 48 wk in the sandy loam and silty clay soils (r = 0.92 and 0.64, respectively). Overall, readily mineralizable N (Pool I) was the most sensitive and robust indicator of mineralizable N after three annual manure applications to agricultural soils from a humid temperate region.