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Estimating Potential Nitrogen Mineralisation Using the Solvita Soil Respiration System

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DOI: 10.4236/ojss.2015.512030    4,320 Downloads   5,116 Views Citations

ABSTRACT

Nitrogen (N) mineralisation contributes considerably to crop growth in fertilized and unfertilized fields. It is useful to be able to assess potential N mineralisation to increase fertilizer application efficiency, prevent excessive N runoff, and improve environmental system models. The microbes present in soil mineralize N based on many factors, including soil temperature and moisture, tillage, and levels of organic C and N. The measurement of soil’s ability to mineralize N is considered a good indicator of soil quality. Many methods have been developed to estimate N mineralisation in the laboratory and field. The 7-day anaerobic N mineralisation method developed in the 1960’s is considered reliable and is often used to compare new N-mineralisation testing methods. This study examines the use of soil CO2 evolution as determined using the Solvita Soil Respiration System (Solvita) for estimating N mineralisation by comparing it directly to the anaerobic N mineralisation test. Measured CO2 using Solvita was strongly correlated with anaerobic N mineralisation (r2 = 0.82). Results indicate that the Solvita Soil Respiration System can be used to rapidly assess soil respiration and relative N mineralisation potential in any given soil and is considerably faster and easier to perform in a laboratory setting than the anaerobic N mineralisation test.

Cite this paper

Haney, R. and Haney, E. (2015) Estimating Potential Nitrogen Mineralisation Using the Solvita Soil Respiration System. Open Journal of Soil Science, 5, 319-323. doi: 10.4236/ojss.2015.512030.

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