Gaseous nitrogen losses from field plots grown with pea (Pisum sativum L.) or spring barley (Hordeum vulgare L.) estimated by 15N mass balance and acetylene inhibition techniques

F. Bertelsen, E.S. Jensen

    Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearch

    Abstract

    In a mass balance of N-15-labelled nitrate added to soil grown with pea or barley, denitrification estimates using the acetylene-inhibition technique were compared with unaccounted for N-15. During the growth season of 1989, which was drier than average, N losses due to denitrification estimated by the acetylene-inhibition technique were negligible. A substantial amount of fertilizer N was unaccounted for by the N-15 mass balance, especially in the pea plots. The loss took place during the period of grain-filling in which no leaching occurred, and was accompanied by a decrease in N-15 content of the plants. Volatilization of ammonia from the aerial parts of the plants is a possible explanation of the observed loss. An estimation of denitrification relying only on the N-15 mass balance would have resulted in an overestimation of denitrification.
    Original languageEnglish
    JournalPlant and Soil
    Volume142
    Issue number2
    Pages (from-to)287-295
    ISSN0032-079X
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 1992

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