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Journal of Environmental Quality Abstract - SPECIAL SUBMISSIONS

Nitrogen Mineralization from Organic Residues


This article in JEQ

  1. Vol. 34 No. 1, p. 75-79
    Received: Mar 31, 2004

    * Corresponding author(s): mcabrera@uga.edu
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  1. M. L. Cabrera *a,
  2. D. E. Kissela and
  3. M. F. Vigilb
  1. a Crop and Soil Sciences Department, University of Georgia, Athens, GA 30602-7272
    b Usda-Ars, Akron, Co 80720-1029


Research on nitrogen (N) mineralization from organic residues is important to understand N cycling in soils. Here we review research on factors controlling net N mineralization as well as research on laboratory and field modeling efforts, with the objective of highlighting areas with opportunities for additional research. Among the factors controlling net N mineralization are organic composition of the residue, soil temperature and water content, drying and rewetting events, and soil characteristics. Because C to N ratio of the residue cannot explain all the variability observed in N mineralization among residues, considerable effort has been dedicated to the identification of specific compounds that play critical roles in N mineralization. Spectroscopic techniques are promising tools to further identify these compounds. Many studies have evaluated the effect of temperature and soil water content on N mineralization, but most have concentrated on mineralization from soil organic matter, not from organic residues. Additional work should be conducted with different organic residues, paying particular attention to the interaction between soil temperature and water content. One- and two-pool exponential models have been used to model N mineralization under laboratory conditions, but some drawbacks make it difficult to identify definite pools of mineralizable N. Fixing rate constants has been used as a way to eliminate some of these drawbacks when modeling N mineralization from soil organic matter, and may be useful for modeling N mineralization from organic residues. Additional work with more complex simulation models is needed to simulate both gross N mineralization and immobilization to better estimate net N mineralized from organic residues.

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Copyright © 2005. American Society of Agronomy, Crop Science Society of America, Soil Science SocietyASA, CSSA, SSSA