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This article in JEQ

  1. Vol. 3 No. 4, p. 366-369
    Received: Dec 17, 1973

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Precipitation Nitrogen Contribution Relative to Surface Runoff Discharges1

  1. G. E. Schuman and
  2. R. E. Burwell2



Ammonia and nitrate concentrations in precipitation and surface runoff from two adjacent watersheds, fertilized at 168 and 448 kg N/ha, respectively, were studied to determine the relative contribution of precipitation N in relation to surface runoff N discharge. The data show that 69% of the N discharged by surface runoff from the sampled events could be accounted for by precipitation-originated N on the watershed fertilized at 168 kg N/ha, whereas 53% of the N discharged from the watershed fertilized at 448 kg N/ha could be attributed to N originating in the precipitation. However, the data indicate that, on an annual basis, the surface runoff N discharge accounts for only 20% of that in the total incoming precipitation. This difference can be accounted for by precipitation intensity or duration that did not cause runoff, absorption of NH4-N by the soil material, or leaching of NO3-N into the soil profile.

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