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This article in AJ

  1. Vol. 101 No. 4, p. 925-932
     
    Received: May 18, 2008


    * Corresponding author(s): zhoushl@cau.edu.cn
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doi:10.2134/agronj2008.0171

Recovery of Residual Fertilizer-Nitrogen by Wheat in a Winter Wheat–Summer Maize Rotation in the North China Plain: A Soil Column Study

  1. Yong-Cheng Wuab,
  2. Shun-Li Zhou *a,
  3. Zhi-Min Wanga,
  4. Han-Yu Fenga,
  5. Lai-Qing Luc and
  6. Run-Zheng Wangc
  1. a Key Lab. of Crop Cultivation & Farming System, Ministry of Agriculture/Dep. of Agronomy, College of Agronomy & Biotechnology, China Agricultural Univ., Beijing 100193, China
    b College of Agronomy, Si Chuan Agricultural Univ., Yaan 625014, China
    c Wuqiao Experimental Station, China Agricultural Univ., Hebei 061802, China

Abstract

Cropping systems is potentially useful practice for mitigating nitrate leaching and increasing nitrogen use efficiency (NUE) because deeper rooted crops could capture the leached N from previous shallower rooted crops. The recovery of fertilizer nitrogen (FN) applied to maize (Zea mays L.) by the succeeding wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) in a winter wheat–summer maize rotation in North China Plain (NCP) was studied in 2003–2004 and 2005–2006 by creating 15N-labeled soil columns. We found that the in-season maize plant use efficiency of FN was about 46 to 48% and the total residual fertilizer nitrogen (RFN) in a 2-m soil profile at maize harvest was 34% in 2003–2004 and 41% in 2005–2006, the ratios of FN unaccounted for were about 19 and 12%, respectively. The RFN declined significantly down the soil profile. About 13 and 10% of total RFN, or 4.4 and 4.0% of total applied FN were observed below the 1.2 m soil depth. Wheat was able to recover the RFN up to the 2.0-m soil depth, the recovery ratio from upper soil layers was higher than that from lower layers and ranged from 4.4 to 23% in 2003–2004 and 4.6 to 34% in 2005–2006. Corresponding total recovery ratios were 13.7 and 21.4% of total RFN, or 4.9 and 8.7% of total applied FN, respectively. The annual recovery ratios were 51.6% in 2003–2004 and 56.2% in 2005–2006. The deep-rooting characteristics of winter wheat for deep N uptake should be taken as an important index in N fertilizer management in the rotation system.

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