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This article in SSSAJ

  1. Vol. 50 No. 3, p. 831-833
    Received: Oct 10, 1985

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Field Denitrification Estimation by Nitrogen-15 and Acetylene Inhibition Techniques1

  1. A. R. Mosier,
  2. W. D. Guenzi and
  3. E. E. Schweizer2



Direct quantification of denitrification N loss from N-fertilized soils has been a long standing problem in soil N research. Recently 15N or acetylene inhibition methods have been used to make in-field estimates of N loss from the soil resulting from denitrification. both methods have potential problems that may affect the validity of the data acquired. A field study was conducted to compare the acetylene inhibition approach with a 15N technique for measuring total N evolution (N2O + N2) from a N-fertilized soil. Miniplots were established in an unplanted clay loam soil and fertilized with 15N-labeled ammonium sulfate. Total N emissions were followed during three irrigation and subsequent drying events. The total N emissions measured by the acetylene method averaged 12 kg N ha−1 compared to 9 kg N ha−1 measured by the 15N technique from the nonacetylene-treated plots. This difference between methods was small relative to the spatial variability observed in measuring gaseous N emissions in the field.

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