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Interactive Effects From Combining Fertilizer And Organic Residue Inputs On Nitrogen Transformations

R. Gentile, B. Vanlauwe, P. Chivenge, J. Six
Published 2008 · Chemistry

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Abstract Concerns about sustainability of agroecosystems management options in developed and developing countries warrant improved understanding of N cycling. The Integrated Soil Fertility Management paradigm recognizes the possible interactive benefits of combining organic residues with mineral fertilizer inputs on agroecosystem functioning. However, these beneficial effects may be controlled by residue quality. This study examines the controls of inputs on N cycling across a gradient of (1) input, (2) residue quality, and (3) texture. We hypothesized that combining organic residue and mineral fertilizers would enhance potential N availability relative to either input alone. Residue and fertilizer inputs labeled with 15N (40–60 atom% 15N) were incubated with 200 g soil for 545 d in a microcosm experiment. Input treatments consisted of a no-input control, organic residues (3.65 g C kg−1 soil, equivalent to 4 Mg C ha−1), mineral N fertilizer (100 mg N kg−1 soil, equivalent to 120 kg N ha−1), and a combination of both with either the residue or fertilizer 15N-labeled. Zea mays stover inputs were added to four differently textured soils (sand, sandy loam, clay loam, and clay). Additionally, inputs of three residue quality classes (class I: Tithonia diversifolia, class II: Calliandra calothyrsus, class III: Z. mays stover) were applied to the clay soil. Available N and N2O emissions were measured as indicators for potential plant N uptake and N losses. Combining residue and fertilizer inputs resulted in a significant (P
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