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Steiner, C; Glaser, B; Teixeira, WG; Lehmann, J; Blum, WEH; Zech, W.
(2008): Nitrogen retention and plant uptake on a highly weathered central Amazonian Ferralsol amended with compost and charcoal
J PLANT NUTR SOIL SCI. 2008; 171(6): 893-899. FullText FullText_BOKU

Leaching losses of N are a major limitation of crop production on permeable soils and under heavy rainfalls as in the humid tropics. We established a field trial in the central Amazon (near Manaus, Brazil) in order to study the influence of charcoal and compost on the retention of N. Fifteen months after organic-matter admixing (0-0.1 m soil depth), we added N-15-labeled (NH4)(2)SO4 (27.5 kg N ha(-1) at 10 atom% excess). The tracer was measured in top soil (0-0.1 m) and plant samples taken at two successive sorghum (Sorghum bicolor L. Moench) harvests. The IN recovery in biomass was significantly higher when the soil contained compost (14.7% of applied N) in comparison to only mineral-fertilized plots (5.7%) due to significantly higher crop production during the first growth period. After the second harvest, the retention in soil was significantly higher in the charcoal-amended plots (15.6%) in comparison to only mineral-fertilized plots (9.7%) due to higher retention in soil. The total N recovery in soil, crop residues, and grains was significantly (p < 0.05) higher on compost (16.5%), charcoal (18.1%), and charcoal-plus-compost treatments (17.4%) in comparison to only mineral-fertilized plots (10.9%). Organic amendments increased the retention of applied fertilizer N. One process in this retention was found to be the recycling of N taken up by the crop. The relevance of immobilization, reduced N leaching, and gaseous losses as well as other potential processes for increasing N retention should be unraveled in future studies.
Authors BOKU Wien:
Blum Winfried E.H.

Find related publications in this database (Keywords)
biochar Brazil
nitrogen cycling
soil organic matter
Terra Preta

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