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This article in JEQ

  1. Vol. 37 No. 2, p. 325-332
    Received: May 14, 2007

    * Corresponding author(s): malkaisi@iastate.edu


Effect of Nitrogen Fertilizer Application on Growing Season Soil Carbon Dioxide Emission in a Corn–Soybean Rotation

  1. Mahdi M. Al-Kaisi *,
  2. Marc L. Kruse and
  3. John E. Sawyer
  1. Dep. of Agronomy, Iowa State Univ., Ames, IA 50011-1010. M.L. Kruse, formerly graduate student


Nitrogen application can have a significant effect on soil carbon (C) pools, plant biomass production, and microbial biomass C processing. The focus of this study was to investigate the short-term effect of N fertilization on soil CO2 emission and microbial biomass C. The study was conducted from 2001 to 2003 at four field sites in Iowa representing major soil associations and with a corn (Zea mays L.)–soybean (Glycine max L. Merr.) rotation. The experimental design was a randomized complete block with four replications of four N rates (0, 90, 180, and 225 kg ha−1). In the corn year, season-long cumulative soil CO2 emission was greatest with the zero N application. There was no effect of N applied in the prior year on CO2 emission in the soybean year, except at one of three sites, where greater applied N decreased CO2 emission. Soil microbial biomass C (MBC) and net mineralization in soil collected during the corn year was not significantly increased with increase in N rate in two out of three sites. At all sites, soil CO2 emission from aerobically incubated soil showed a more consistent declining trend with increase in N rate than found in the field. Nitrogen fertilization of corn reduced the soil CO2 emission rate and seasonal cumulative loss in two out of three sites, and increased MBC at only one site with the highest N rate. Nitrogen application resulted in a reduction of both emission rate and season-long cumulative emission of CO2–C from soil.

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Copyright © 2008. American Society of Agronomy, Crop Science Society of America, Soil Science SocietyAmerican Society of Agronomy, Crop Science Society of America, and Soil Science Society of America