About Us | Help Videos | Contact Us | Subscriptions

Journal of Environmental Quality Abstract - Waste Management

Carbon and Nitrogen Mineralization Rates after Application of Organic Amendments to Soil


This article in JEQ

  1. Vol. 35 No. 1, p. 183-193
    Received: Jan 21, 2005

    * Corresponding author(s): dmurphy@cyllene.uwa.edu.au
Request Permissions

  1. Tamara C. Flavel and
  2. Daniel V. Murphy *
  1. School of Earth and Geographical Science, Faculty of Natural and Agricultural Science, The University of Western Australia, 35 Stirling Highway, Crawley, WA 6009, Australia


The objective of this study was to quantify C and N mineralization rates from a range of organic amendments that differed in their total C and N contents and C quality, to gain a better understanding of their influence on the soil N cycle. A pelletized poultry manure (PP), two green waste–based composts (GWCa, GWCb), a straw-based compost (SBC), and a vermi-cast (VER) were incubated in a coarse-textured soil at 15°C for 142 d. The C quality of each amendment was determined by chemical analysis and by 13C nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR). Carbon dioxide (CO2–C) evolution was determined using alkali traps. Gross N mineralization rates were calculated by 15N isotopic pool dilution. The CO2–C evolution rates and gross N mineralization rates were generally higher in amended soils than in the control soil. With the exception of GWCb all amendments released inorganic N at concentrations that would be high enough to warrant a reduction in inorganic N fertilizer application rates. The amount of N released from PP was high indicating that application rates should be reduced, or alternative amendments used, to minimize leaching losses in regions where ground water quality is of concern. There was a highly significant relationship between CO2–C evolution and gross N mineralization (R 2 = 0.95). Some of the chemically determined C quality parameters had significant relationships (p < 0.05) with both the cumulative amounts of C and N evolved. However, we found no significant relationships between 13C NMR spectral groupings, or their ratios, and either the CO2–C evolved or gross N mineralized from the amendments.

  Please view the pdf by using the Full Text (PDF) link under 'View' to the left.

Copyright © 2006. American Society of Agronomy, Crop Science Society of America, Soil Science SocietyASA, CSSA, SSSA