Carbon and Nitrogen Mineralization Rates after Application of Organic Amendments to Soil

T.C. Flavel, Daniel Murphy

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205 Citations (Scopus)


The objective of this study was to quantify C and N mineralization rates from a range of organic amendments that differed in their total C and N contents and C quality, to gain a better understanding of their influence on the soil N cycle. A pelletized poultry manure (PP), two green waste-based composts (GWCa, GWCb), a straw-based compost (SBC), and a vermi-cast (VER) were incubated in a coarsetext-tired soil at 15 degrees C for 142 it. The C quality of each amendment was determined by chemical analysis and by C-13 nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR). Carbon dioxide ((CO2C)-C-_) evolution was determined using alkali traps. Gross N mineralization rates were calculated by N-15 isotopic pool dilution. The CO2-C evolution rates and gross N mineralization rates were generally higher in amended soils than in the control soil. With the exception of GWCh all amendments released inorganic N at concentrations that would be high enough to warrant a reduction in inorganic N fertilizer application rates. The amount of N released from PP was high indicating that application rates should he reduced, or alternative amendments used, to minimize leaching losses in regions where ground water quality is of concern. There was a highly significant relationship between CO2-C evolution and gross N mineralization (R-2 = 0.95). Some of the chemically determined C quality parameters had significant relationships (p < 0.05) with both the cumulative amounts of C and N evolved. However, we found no significant relationships between C-13 NMR spectral groupings, or their ratios, and either the CO2-C evolved or gross N mineralized front the amendments.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)183-193
JournalJournal of Environmental Quality
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2006


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