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Soil Science Society of America Journal Abstract -

Modeling the Flush of Nitrogen Mineralization Caused by Drying and Rewetting Soils


This article in SSSAJ

  1. Vol. 57 No. 1, p. 63-66
    Received: Jan 24, 1992

    * Corresponding author(s):
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  1. M. L. Cabrera 
  1. Dep. of Agronomy and Institute of Ecology, 3111 Plant Sciences Building, Univ. of Georgia, Athens, GA 30602



The flush of N mineralization that follows rewetting a dry soil may release significant amounts of N where drying-rewetting cycles are common, so attempts to model N mineralized in the field should include this mechanism. Selecting a model for the N flush, however, is hampered by inadequate measurement frequency in existing data. My objective was to collect detailed data on the progress of the N flush to facilitate finding a model to describe the process. Samples of three soils were preincubated, dried, rewetted, and incubated at 30 °C for up to 20 d with periodic samplings for inorganic N determinations. Undried samples were also incubated and sampled periodically. Cumulative net N mineralized in undried samples was adequately described by zero-order kinetics. In contrast, describing cumulative net N mineralized in dried and rewetted samples required a model with two N pools, one following zero-order kinetics and the other following first-order kinetics. Apparently, the first-order N flush was superimposed on zero-order background mineralization. Drying and rewetting the soils also significantly increased the background mineralization rate, suggesting transfer of N from a passive pool to the zero-order pool.

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