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Soil Science Society of America Journal Abstract -

The Effect of Low Temperatures on Nitrification of Ammonia in Cecil Sandy Loam1


This article in SSSAJ

  1. Vol. 24 No. 4, p. 286-289
    Received: Dec 7, 1959
    Accepted: Feb 3, 1960

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  1. O. E. Anderson2



Anhydrous ammonia (NH3) at the rate of 150 ppm. NH4-N was applied to samples of Cecil sandy loam in the laboratory in a manner simulating field application. Initial concentration at the center of the absorption zone was 800 ppm. NH4-N. NH4NO3 at rates 0, 50, 100, 200 and 400 ppm. NH4-N was also applied to the Cecil soil. Nitrification occurring at 37°, 42°, 47° and 52° F. was studied. Nitrification, though negligible, occurred in all samples at 37° F. At 42°, nitrification became noticeably active by the 3- to 6-week period in NH3 samples, and NH4NO3 samples treated with 50 ppm. NH4-N. Compared to the latter, nitrate accumulation decreased as NH4NO3 concentration increased. This effect was particularly noticeable at 47° and 52° F. where nitrification of NH3 and NH4NO3, up to 100 ppm. NH4-N, was moderate. At 52° F. nitrification approached completion in the 50 ppm. NH4-N samples by the 9th week, and in the NH3 samples by the 12th week. Nitrate accumulation during 12 weeks expressed as a percentage of that occurring at 52° F. was 93, 51, and 8% at 47°, 42°, and 37° F., respectively, in NH4NO3 samples treated with 50 ppm. NH4-N. In samples treated with NH3 it was 72, 35, and 4%, respectively, at the same temperatures.

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