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This article in SSSAJ

  1. Vol. 61 No. 2, p. 494-503
    Received: Dec 11, 1995

    * Corresponding author(s): vankessel@usask.sask.ca
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Nitrogen Contribution of Pea Residue in a Hummocky Terrain

  1. F. C. Stevenson and
  2. C. van Kessel 
  1. Department of Soil Science, Univ. of Saskatchewan, 51 Campus Drive, Saskatoon, SK, Canada S7N 5A8



Topography influences the distribution of soil water and inorganic N, which could affect the availability of N from legume residue to the subsequent crop. A study assessed the landscape-scale variability of the N contribution by pea (Pisum sativum L.) to the soil (N2 fixation in residue minus seed N derived from the soil) and the subsequent wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) crop. In situ 15N-labeled pea residue was used to monitor the contribution of pea residue to the succeeding crop. A 100-point sampling grid, with 10-m spacings, was established in a field with hummocky terrain. Each sampling point was classified as a shoulder or a low-catchment or high-catchment footslope. The N contribution by pea to the soil was 45 kg ha−1 in the shoulders and 63 kg ha−1 in the footslopes. Recovery of 15N in the microbial biomass was greater in the footslopes (71%) vs. the shoulders (51%), and related to greater soil water content in the footslopes. The N contribution by pea to wheat, as assessed by the 15N that wheat derived from the residue of the preceding wheat crop, was 11% and similar among landform complexes. Therefore, the N contribution of pea to wheat did not explain the greater N accumulation by wheat in the high-catchment areas than the other landform complexes. The N contribution of pea to a succeeding wheat crop apparently will be a small component of the rotation benefit by pea in a hummocky terrain.

Contribution no. R789 of the Saskatchewan Centre for Soil Research.

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