Nitrogen pools and turnover in arable soils under different durations of organic farming: I: Pool sizes of total soil nitrogen, microbial biomass nitrogen, and potentially mineralizable nitrogen

Friedel, J.K.; Gabel, D.

Journal of Plant Nutrition and Soil Science 164(4): 415-419


ISSN/ISBN: 1436-8730
DOI: 10.1002/1522-2624(200108)164:4<415::aid-jpln415>;2-d
Accession: 003509800

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Soil organic matter contents, soil microbial biomass, potentially mineralizable nitrogen (N) and soil pH values were investigated in the Ap horizons of 14 field plots at 3 sites in Germany which had been under organic farming over various periods. The objective was to test how these soil properties change with the duration of organic farming. Site effects were significant for pH values, microbial biomass C and N, and for potentially mineralizable N at 0-10 cm depth. The contents of total organic C, total soil N, and potentially mineralizable N tended to be higher in soils after 41 versus 3 years of organic farming, but the differences were not significant. Microbial biomass C and N contents were higher after 41 years than after 3 years of organic farming at 0-10 cm depth, and the pH values were increased at 10-27 cm depth. Nine years of organic farming were insufficient to affect soil microbial biomass significantly. Increased biomass N contents help improve N storage by soil microorganisms in soils under long-term organic farming.