Show simple item record

dc.contributor.authorClough, Timothy J.en
dc.date.accessioned2009-05-03T23:56:39Z
dc.date.issued1994en
dc.identifier.urihttps://hdl.handle.net/10182/1030
dc.description.abstractThis study has provided fundamental information on the fate of urine nitrogen (N) when applied to pasture soils. In this work the three pasture soils used were a Bruntwood silt loam (BW), an old well-developed (lime and fertilizer incorporated and farmed for more than 20 years) peat soil (OP) and a young peat (YP) which was less developed (farmed for about 10 years). Initial soil chemical and physical measurements revealed that the peat soils were acidic, had higher cation exchange capacities, had greater carbon:nitrogen ratios and were better buffered against changes in soil pH than the BW soil. However, the BW soil was more fertile with a higher pH. The peat soils had lower bulk densities and higher porosities. Four experiments were performed. In the first experiment ¹⁵N-labelled urine was applied at 500 kg N ha⁻¹ to intact soil cores of the three soils. Treatments imposed were the presence and absence of a water table at two temperatures, 8°C or 23° C, over 11-14 weeks. ¹⁵N budgets were determined. This first experiment showed that the nitrification rate was faster in the BW soil and was retarded with a water table present. Significant leaching of nitrate occurred at 8°C in the BW soil without a water table. This was reduced when a water table was present. Leaching losses of urine-N were lower in the peat soils than in the BW soil. Apparent denitrification losses (i.e. calculated on a total-N recovery basis) ranged from 18 to 48 % of the ¹⁵N-applied with the greatest losses occurring in the peat soils. The second experiment examined denitrification losses, over 30 days, following the application of synthetic urine-N at 420 kg N ha⁻¹ to small soil cores situated in growth cabinets. The effects of temperature (8°C or 18°C) and synthetic urine (presence or absence) were measured on the BW and OP soils. Nitrous oxide (N₂0) measurements were taken from all soil cores and a sub-set of soil cores, at 18°C, had ¹⁵N-labelled synthetic urine-N applied so that ¹⁵N-labelled nitrogen gases could be monitored. This experiment showed that the application of synthetic urine and increased soil temperature enhanced denitrification losses from both soils. Denitrification losses, at 18°C, as ¹⁵N-labelled nitrogen gases accounted for 24 to 39 % of the nitrogen applied. Nitrous oxide comprised less than half of this denitrification loss. Losses of N₂0 in leachate samples from the soil cores accounted for less than 0.1 % of the nitrogen applied. A third experiment, using Iysimeters, was performed over a 150 day period in the field. The six treatments consisted of the 3 soils with applied synthetic urine, with or without a simulated water table; each replicated three times. Lysimeters were installed in the field at ground level and ¹⁵N-labelled synthetic urine-N was applied (500 kg N ha⁻¹) on June 4 1992 (day 1). Nitrification rates differed between the soils following the trend noticed in the first experiment. As in the first experiment, nitrate was only detected in the leachate from the BW soil and the inclusion of a water table reduced the concentration of nitrate. In the BW soil, the leachate nitrate concentrations exceeded the World Health Organisation's recommended limit (< 10 mg N L-1) regardless of water table treatment. No nitrate was detected in the leachates from the peat soils but there was some leaching of organic-N (< 5 % of N added) in all the peat soil treatments. Denitrification losses were monitored for the first 100 days of the experiment. In the BW soil without a water table, N₂0 production peaked at approximately day 20 and accounted for 3 % of the nitrogen applied. In the peat soils the measured denitrification losses accounted for less than 1 % of the nitrogen applied. Apparent denitrification losses in the peats were, however, calculated to be approximately 50 % of the ¹⁵N-labelled synthetic urine-N applied. It is postulated that the difference between apparent denitrification losses and those measured could have been due to; loss of dinitrogen in leachate, protracted production of dinitrogen below detectable limits, production of denitrification gases after measurements ceased (i.e. days 100 to 150) and entrapment of dinitrogen in soil cores. Due to the apparent denitrification losses being so high, further research into this nitrogen loss pathway was performed. The fourth and final experiment measured denitrification directly using highly enriched (50 atom %) ¹⁵N-labelled synthetic urine-N. It was performed in a growth cabinet held initially at 8°C. The ¹⁵N-labelled synthetic urine was applied at 500 kg N ha⁻¹ to small soil cores of each soil type. Fluxes of N₂0 and ¹⁵N-labelled gases were measured daily for 59 days. On day 42 the temperature of the growth cabinet was increased to 12°C in an attempt to simulate the mean soil temperature at the end of the field experiment. Up to this time, production of nitrogenous gases from the YP soil had been very low. Interpretation of gaseous nitrogen loss in the YP soil was difficult due to the possibility of chemodenitrification occurring. However, in the OP and BW soils, gaseous losses of nitrogen (determined as ¹⁵N-labelled gas) represented 16 and 7 % of the nitrogen applied respectively. Nitrous oxide comprised approximately half of this gaseous nitrogen loss, in both the OP and BW soils. This work implies that urine-N applied to the mineral soil (BW) could potentially threaten the quality of ground water due to nitrate contamination through leaching. In contrast, denitrification appears to be the major loss mechanism from the peat soils, with the production of nitrous oxide being the primary focus for any environmental concern. Future work should examine the fate of the nitrate leached from the BW soil and the potential for dilution, plant uptake or denitrification below a 30 cm soil depth. A better understanding of the denitrification mechanisms could help reduce denitrification and thereby improve the efficiency of nitrogen use and reduce the output of nitrous oxide.en
dc.language.isoenen
dc.publisherLincoln Universityen
dc.subjectpasture soilen
dc.subjectnitrogenen
dc.subjectpeat soilsen
dc.subjectsoilen
dc.subjectdenitrificationen
dc.subjectnitrate leachingen
dc.titleFate of urine nitrogen applied to peat and mineral soils from grazed pasturesen
dc.typeThesis
thesis.degree.grantorLincoln Universityen
thesis.degree.levelDoctoralen
thesis.degree.nameDoctor of Philosophyen
dc.subject.marsdenFields of Research::300000 Agricultural, Veterinary and Environmental Sciences::300100 Soil and Water Sciences::300104 Land capability and soil degradationen
dc.subject.marsdenFields of Research::300000 Agricultural, Veterinary and Environmental Sciences::300100 Soil and Water Sciences::300103 Soil chemistryen
lu.contributor.unitLincoln Universityen
lu.contributor.unitFaculty of Agriculture and Life Sciencesen
lu.contributor.unitDepartment of Soil and Physical Sciencesen
pubs.organisational-group/LU
pubs.organisational-group/LU/Agriculture and Life Sciences
pubs.organisational-group/LU/Agriculture and Life Sciences/SOILS
pubs.organisational-group/LU/Research Management Office
pubs.organisational-group/LU/Research Management Office/QE18
pubs.publication-statusPublisheden
lu.identifier.orcid0000-0002-5978-5274


Files in this item

Default Thumbnail
Default Thumbnail

This item appears in the following Collection(s)

Show simple item record