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Soil Science Society of America Journal Abstract -

Evaluation of an In Situ Net Soil Nitrogen Mineralization Method in Dryland Agroecosystems


This article in SSSAJ

  1. Vol. 61 No. 2, p. 504-508
    Received: July 24, 1995

    * Corresponding author(s): rkolberg@sidney.ars.usda.gov
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  1. R. L. Kolberg ,
  2. B. Rouppet,
  3. D. G. Westfall and
  4. G. A. Peterson
  1. USDA-ARS, 1500 N. Central Ave., Sidney, MT
    Dep. of Soil and Crop Sciences, Colorado State Univ., Ft. Collins, CO 80523



Direct quantitative measurement of soil net N mineralization in agricultural soils under field conditions has not been widely used. A potential method of in situ net N mineralization was investigated in the fallow phase of a 3-yr no-till crop rotation at two sites. Undisturbed soil cores (5 by 15 cm) with anion- and cation-exchange resins (Sybron Ionac ASB-1P and C-249) at the bottom were incubated in situ. Nitrate-N plus NH4+-N extracted from soil was added to extracted amounts from resin bags to determine net N mineralized during each of three incubation periods (3–4 wk each). Total net N mineralization was 33.7 and 26.5 kg N ha−1 during 84 and 75 d of incubation at Sterling and Stratton, respectively. Relative amounts of resin did not affect N captured but cores placed midway between old corn (Zea Mays L.) rows tended to accumulate more (P > F = 0.13) N than cores placed in rows. This in situ method appears to be a reliable method for measuring net N mineralization in the field; however, variation is large and many observations are required to obtain net N mineralization rates within an acceptable confidence interval.

Contribution from the Dep. of Soil and Crop Sciences, Colorado State Univ.

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