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Journal of Environmental Quality Abstract -

Nitrogen Balance in a Citrus Orchard1


This article in JEQ

  1. Vol. 13 No. 3, p. 353-356
    Received: Mar 29, 1983

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  1. S. Dasberg,
  2. Y. Erner and
  3. H. Bielorai2



Differential fertilizer and irrigation applications were utilized to assess the N balance over a period of 4 yr in a typical mature ‘Shamouti’ orange (Citrus sinensis L.) grove located in the coastal plain of Israel. Nitrogen inputs in fertilizer and irrigation water were 100, 180, and 310 kg ha−1 annually for the three main treatments. The N removed by the crop was measured by yield and N content determinations in the fruits; the leached N was measured by sampling below the root zone. It was found that the amount of leached N was similar in the low and medium N applications (< 50 kg N ha−1). At the high N application, > 50 kg N ha−1 was leached and large amounts of N were unaccounted for (approximately 100 kg N ha−1). Analysis of published data on N losses from citrus orchards showed similar large amounts of N not found in the fruit or in the soil mineral N pool after large N applications. The possible pathways for these N losses were discussed. It was concluded that this excess N was either incorporated in the soil organic matter or stored in the tree rather than being denitrified.

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