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Soil Science Society of America Journal Abstract -

The Effect of Nitrite and Organic Matter on Aerobic Gaseous Losses of Nitrogen from a Calcareous Soil1


This article in SSSAJ

  1. Vol. 29 No. 2, p. 176-178
    Received: Sept 28, 1964
    Accepted: Nov 23, 1964

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  1. B. D. Meek and
  2. A. J. MacKenzie2



The loss of gaseous nitrogen compounds when nitrite accumulates in a calcareous silty clay loam during nitrification was investigated under aerobic conditions.

Soil to which either (NH4)2SO4, NaNO2, or (NH4)2SO4 + barley straw was added, was incubated at 28C and 31% moisture for 28 days. Samples were maintained under aerobic conditions in a N-free atmosphere of 21% oxygen and 79% helium. Gas samples were taken every 7 days from the incubation flasks and analyzed, using a gas chromatograph, for gaseous N products evolved. The accumulation of nitrite was measured on separate soil samples incubated in the same manner as the flasks used to secure gas samples.

The gaseous N forms produced were N2O and N2. It was found that losses were low even when large amounts (250 ppm) of nitrite-N accumulated. The gaseous N loss was 1.3% for (NH4)2SO4 and NaNO2 and 3.6% for the (NH4)2SO4 + barley straw treatment.

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