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

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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