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Factors influencing nitrogen mineralization in taita hill soil new zealand a central yellow brown earth under grazed pasture



Factors influencing nitrogen mineralization in taita hill soil new zealand a central yellow brown earth under grazed pasture



New Zealand Journal of Agricultural Research 20(2): 193-204



Mineralization of soil organic N in Taita hill soil sampled from 4 sites under grazed pasture that had been fertilized annually with molybdic superphosphate and lime was studyed by laboratory techniques. Sieving of the soil, holding at 24.degree. C for a few hours, and brief incubation after freezing and thawing gave small increases in mineral-N (Min-N) content. Over 4 seasons, the production of Min-N by 0-4 cm depth samples incubated at 24.degree. C for 28 days averaged 180 and 140 ppm at 60% water-holding capacity and field-moisture content, respectively; the corresponding values for 4-8 cm depth samples were 60 and 45 ppm, respectively. Considerable variation between and within sites occurred; seasonal variations were also appreciable with field-moist samples. The 0-4 cm depth samples mineralized proportionately more of their total N than did the 4-8 cm depth samples; they also tended to produce proportionately more NO3-N. Generally, the conversion of NH4-N to NO3-N was rapid at 24.degree. C, but it decreased with soil depth and decreasing incubation temperature. Temperature coefficients (Q10) for N mineralization over the 5-24.degree. C range averaged about 2.5 for all samples. Results are considered in relation to a fertilizer N trial conducted immediately adjacent to these sites; adequate mineralization of soil N for plant growth was indicated. The limitations of the incubation technique for generally assessing the availability of N in hill soils are recognized and briefly discussed.

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