Section 67
Chapter 66,364

Sweet corn significantly increases nitrogen retention and reduces nitrogen leaching as summer catch crop in protected vegetable production systems

Guo, R.; Qin, W.; Jiang, C.; Kang, L.; Nendel, C.; Chen, Q.

Soil and Tillage Research 180: 148-153


ISSN/ISBN: 0167-1987
DOI: 10.1016/j.still.2018.03.003
Accession: 066363088

Download citation:  

Nitrogen (N) leaching is a commonly reported problem in protected vegetable production in China due to poor management. To minimize soil residue N and reduce N leaching, sweet corn is often used as the summer catch crop after the winter-spring growing season. However, the effectiveness of this practice has never been systematically quantified before. Here we reported the effects of sweet corn as catch crop on soil N retention and N leaching in the greenhouse vegetable system, using the data of two N-15 isotope micro-plot experiments in soil bound greenhouse. The results showed that sweet corn removed 11.5% of total residual N-15 in soil profile and kept more organic N-15 by 39.8% in soil profile, compared to fallow treatment. Root activity increased nitrogen retention due to temporarily immobilizing N as organic form, thereby reducing N leaching. Interestingly, sweet corn significantly reduced N leaching in the later growing stage (August), but not in the earlier stages (July). In total, dissolved organic nitrogen (DON) accounted for 63% of total N leaching. Sweet corn significantly reduced DON leaching, but not mineral N (N-min) leaching. Hence, reducing N leaching in Chinese greenhouse must distinguish DON and N-min sources and optimize both. Our study provides quantitative insights in N retention and leaching influenced by sweet corn as catch crop in typical Chinese greenhouse production systems, which provide guidance for searching for better catch crops in further studies.

PDF emailed within 0-6 h: $19.90