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The contribution of mineralization to grassland N uptake on peatland soils with anthropogenic A horizons

Matthijs P. W. Sonneveld and Egbert A. Lantinga
Plant and Soil
Vol. 340, No. 1/2 (2011), pp. 357-368
Published by: Springer
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/24130818
Page Count: 12
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Abstract

Peatland soils contain large amounts of nitrogen (N) in the soil and mineralization can contribute substantially to the annual mineral N supply of grasslands. We investigated the contribution of N mineralization from peat with respect to the total annual N uptake on grasslands with anthropogenic A horizons and submerged tile drains. The study included i) a pot experiment to determine potential N mineralization from the topsoil and the subsoil, ii) a 1-year field experiment to study herbage yields and N uptake under fertilized and non-fertilized conditions and iii) a 3-year field study where herbage yield and N uptake from the top 30 cm and the entire soil profile were monitored. The 3-year field study yielded an average N uptake of 342 kgha-1 under non-fertilized conditions but the contribution of subsoil peat N mineralization to the total N uptake was found to be negligible. Our calculations demonstrate that peat N mineralization contributed only 10% to 30% to the total N-uptake, mainly coming from the top 30 cm. Most of the N uptake under unfertilized conditions appears to be largely the result of mineralization from long-term inputs of dung, ditch sludge, farmyard manure, cow slurry and non-harvested herbage.

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