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Journal of Environmental Quality Abstract -

Nitrification and Denitrification in Cattle Manure-Amended Soil1


This article in JEQ

  1. Vol. 7 No. 2, p. 196-202
    Received: June 15, 1977

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  1. W. D. Guenzi2,
  2. W. E. Beard3,
  3. F. S. Watanabe2,
  4. S. R. Olsen2 and
  5. L. K. Porter2



Dry cattle manure was mixed with soil at a rate of 45 and 90 metric tons/ha and amended with K15NO3, and (15NH4)2SO4 in separate treatments. The greenhouse experiment included an uncropped and a sorghum (Sorghum vulgure Pers.) treatment. Soil atmosphere was analyzed for CO2, N2, O2 + Ar, N2O, and enriched 15N2. The energy-rich manure created a high biological oxygen demand and caused low O2 and high CO2 concentrations in the soil environment. Evidence for denitrification was obtained by the presence of N2O and 15N enriched N2-in the soil gases for the manure treatments amended with 15NO3 and 15NH4+. The 15N enriched N2 in the soil gases in the uncropped soil decreased to background levels after 10 days in the NO3-amended manured soils, whereas 15N2 enrichment from 15NH4+-amended manured soils existed at 39 days. The recovery of NO3-15N in the uncropped soils was 90.2% without manure, 9.4% with 45, and 8.1% with 90 metric tons/ha of manure. Recovery of NH4+-15N in the uncropped soil was 92.2% without manure, 60.3% with 45, and 57.0% with 90 metric tons/ha of manure. Higher concentrations of added fertilizer N were recovered in the cropped system. In this study, where manure was mixed thoroughly with soil, water was added daily to field capacity, and O2 concentrations were never below 3.1%, denitrification must have occurred in anaerobic microsites in a predominantly aerobic system. The results for the NH4+-manure treatment demonstrated that both nitrification and denitrification occurred simultaneously.

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