What happens to in situ net soil nitrogen mineralization when nitrogen fertility changes?

Congming Zou, John H. Grove, Robert C. Pearce, Mark S. Coyne, Ke Ren

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Does net soil nitrogen (N) mineralization change if N-fertility management is suddenly altered? This study, conducted in a long-term no-tillage maize (Zea mays L.) fertility experiment (established 1970), evaluated how changing previous fertilizer N (PN) management influenced in situ net soil N mineralization (NSNM). Net soil N mineralization was measured by incubating undisturbed soil cores with anion and cation exchange resins. In each of three PN fertilizer application plots (0, 84, and 336 kg N ha−1), another three fertilizer application rates (0, 84, and 336 kg N ha−1) were imposed and considered the current fertilizer N (CN) management. Generally, PN-336 (336 kg N ha−1) had significantly greater NSNM than PN-0 (0 kg N ha−1) or PN-84 (84 kg N ha−1), which reflected differences in soil organic-C (SOC) and soil total-N (STN). The three CN rates had no significant effect on NSNM when they were applied to PN-0 or PN-84, but CN-336 (336 kg N ha−1) had significantly higher NSNM than CN-0 (0 kg N ha−1) or CN-84 (84 kg N ha−1) in the PN-336 plots. The CN or “added N interaction” used the indigenous soil organic matter (SOM) pool and the added sufficient fertilizer N. Environmental factors, including precipitation and mean air temperature, explained the most variability in average daily soil N mineralization rate during each incubation period. Soil water content at each sampling day could also explain NSNM loss via potential denitrification. We conclude that “added N interaction” in the field condition was the combined effect of SOM and sufficient fertilizer N input.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)296-306
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Plant Nutrition and Soil Science
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 2019

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We would like to express our appreciation to Jack Zeleznik, Matthew Allen, Laura Mitchell, Andres Nunez and Antonio Marchi for field management and collecting soil and resin samples for this study. We are grateful to Tami Smith and Diane Hunter for providing us with laboratory expertise and technical assistance for soil sample analysis. The information reported in this paper (No.15-06-067) is a product of the Kentucky Experiment Station and is published with the approval of the Director. Authors thank to Yunnan Technology Innovation Program (2018-8) and Yunnan Ten Thousand People Program (2018-73) for supporting Congming Zou.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2019 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim


  • N management
  • added nitrogen interaction
  • in situ resin core method
  • priming effect

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Soil Science
  • Plant Science


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