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Journal of Environmental Quality Abstract - Surface Water Quality

Nitrogen Loss through Lateral Seepage in Near-Trench Paddy Fields


This article in JEQ

  1. Vol. 37 No. 2, p. 712-717
    Received: Feb 9, 2007

    * Corresponding author(s): liang410@zju.edu.cn
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  1. Xin-Qiang Liang,
  2. Hua Li *,
  3. Ying-Xu Chen,
  4. Miao-Miao He,
  5. Guang-Ming Tian and
  6. Zhi-Jian Zhang
  1. Dep. of Environmental Engineering, College of Natural Resources and Environmental Science, Zhejiang Univ., Hangzhou, 310029,China


A near-trench paddy field experiment with five urea application rates (0–360 kg N ha−1 in 90-kg increments) was conducted on a paddy soil in the Taihu Lake Region of China to elucidate N losses through lateral seepage during three rice (Oryza sativa L.) growing seasons. The total N (Nt), NH4 +–N, and NO3 -N concentrations in the lateral seepage water increased with increasing N rates. The seasonal Nt fluxes by lateral seepage varied from 6.8 to 25.6 kg N ha−1 for urea application rates of 90 to 360 kg N ha−1 Lateral seepage accounted for 4.7 to 6.6% of the Nt applied, implying that lateral seepage was an important pathway of N loss from near-trench paddy fields. The cumulative N loss via lateral seepage was significantly related to N fertilization rate (P = 0.05). Floodwater level was also identified as a main factor affecting N losses via lateral seepage from paddy fields, as indicated by a positive linear relationship (R 2 = 0.43) between floodwater level and daily lateral flow during the flooded period (P = 0.05). Under the conditions of these experiments, a shallow floodwater depth of 50 mm, urea application rates of 90 kg N ha−1 or less, and no rainfall within 1 wk after N application reduced N losses by lateral seepage from paddy fields.

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