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Abstract

 

This article in SSSAJ

  1. Vol. 31 No. 3, p. 377-379
     
    Received: Oct 24, 1966
    Accepted: Jan 6, 1967


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doi:10.2136/sssaj1967.03615995003100030025x

Nitrogen Gradients and Nitrification Associated with Decomposing Corn Plants and Barley Straw in Soil1

  1. J. H. Smith2

Abstract

Abstract

Ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate concentrations and pH were measured in 5-mm increments of soil over a 50-mm distance from decomposing layers of corn plants (Zea mays L.) and barley straw (Hordeum vulgare L.) that contained from 1.00 to 2.10% N. During 16 days of incubation, corn plants containing 2.05% N produced an ammonia concentration of 1.3 meq/100 g of soil in the layer near the plant material and inhibited nitrification. At 1.78% N the maximum ammonia concentration was approximately 0.55 meq/100 g of soil and nitrification proceeded almost without inhibition. At 1.27% N, a nitrogen deficiency existed and nitrate moved from the soil into the plant material. Similar gradients of a lesser magnitude were found in soil near decomposing layers of barley straw. Plant materials with the higher N contents increased adjacent soil pH, whereas those with lower N contents had less influence.

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