Denitrification from a Swine Lagoon Overland Flow Treatment System at a Pasture–Riparian Zone Interface
- Richard Lowrance * and
- Robert K. Hubbard
In manure disposal systems, denitrification is a major pathway for N loss and to reduce N transport to surface and ground water. We measured denitrification and the changes in soil N pools in a liquid manure disposal system at the interface of a pasture and a riparian forest. Liquid swine manure was applied weekly at two rates (approximately 800 and 1600 kg N ha−1 yr−1) to triplicate plots of overland flow treatment systems with three different vegetation treatments. Denitrification (acetylene block technique on intact cores) and soil N pools were determined bimonthly for 3 yr. The higher rate of manure application had higher denitrification rates and higher soil nitrate. Depth 1 soil (0–6 cm) had higher denitrification, nitrate, and ammonium than depth 2 soil (6–12 cm). The vegetation treatment consisting of 20 m of grass and 10 m of forest had lower denitrification. Denitrification did not vary significantly with position in the plot (7, 14, 21, and 28 m downslope), but nitrate decreased in the downslope direction while ammonium increased downslope. Denitrification ranged from 4 to 12% of total N applied in the manure. Denitrification rates were similar to those from a nearby dairy manure irrigation site, but were generally a lower percent of N applied, especially at the high swine effluent rate. Denitrification rates for these soils range from 40 to 200 kg N ha−1 yr−1 for the top 12 cm of soil treated with typical liquid manure that is high in ammonium and low in nitrate.Please view the pdf by using the Full Text (PDF) link under 'View' to the left.
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