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This article in SSSAJ

  1. Vol. 76 No. 6, p. 2208-2220
     
    Received: Dec 5, 2011
    Published: October 19, 2012


    * Corresponding author(s): pratibhasingh28@gmail.com
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doi:10.2136/sssaj2011.0412

Influence of Herbicide and Soil Amendments on Soil Nitrogen Dynamics, Microbial Biomass, and Crop Yield in Tropical Dryland Agroecosystems

  1. Pratibha Singh *a,
  2. R. P. Singha and
  3. Nandita Ghoshalb
  1. a Dep. of Agronomy, Institute of Agricultural Sciences, Banaras Hindu Univ., Varanasi 221005, India
    b Centre of Advanced Study in Botany, Dep. of Botany, Banaras Hindu Univ., Varanasi 221005, India

Abstract

Nitrogen (N) dynamics is the key factor for designing management strategies to achieve sustained crop productivity. A 2-yr field experiment was performed to examine the influence of herbicide (butachlor [2-chloro 2’6’ diethyl-n-butoxy-methylacetanilide]; HC) alone or in combination with soil amendments on N dynamics involving N mineralization rate (Nmin), inorganic N pool, N uptake (Nup) by plants, soil microbial biomass N, and crop yield in tropical dryland agroecosystems. The Nmin rate showed distinct seasonal patterns which decreased from rice period to summer fallow except herbicide + animal manure (farmyard manure; HC + AM) and herbicide + crop residue (wheat [Triticum aestivum L.] straw; HC + CR) treatments.The annual rate of Nmin, inorganic N pool, and crop yield were higher in HC + AM, herbicide + chemical fertilizer (NPK; HC + CF), herbicide + green manure {dhaincha [Sesbania aculeata (Willd.) Pers.] shoots; HC + GM} while comparable in HC + CR and HC treatments relative to control (CO). Soil moisture content better predicted variation in Nmin rate compared to soil temperature. Plant Nup and crop yield relative to CO was higher in HC + CF, HC + GM, and HC + AM, comparable in HC + CR while lower in the HC treatment. Annual Nmin rate explained a significant part of variations in annual soil microbial biomass N, inorganic N pool, plant Nup, and crop yield. Results indicate that combined application of HC + AM result in relatively sustained availability of inorganic N and higher crop yield throughout the annual cycle.

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