Soil organic carbon and clay content as deciding factors for net nitrogen mineralization and cereal yields in boreal mineral soils

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Soinne , H , Keskinen , R , Räty , M , Kanerva , S , Turtola , E , Kaseva , J , Nuutinen , V , Simojoki , A & Salo , T 2021 , ' Soil organic carbon and clay content as deciding factors for net nitrogen mineralization and cereal yields in boreal mineral soils ' , European Journal of Soil Science , vol. 72 , no. 4 , pp. 1497-1512 . https://doi.org/10.1111/ejss.13003

Title: Soil organic carbon and clay content as deciding factors for net nitrogen mineralization and cereal yields in boreal mineral soils
Author: Soinne, Helena; Keskinen, Riikka; Räty, Mari; Kanerva, Sanna; Turtola, Eila; Kaseva, Janne; Nuutinen, Visa; Simojoki, Asko; Salo, Tapio
Other contributor: University of Helsinki, Department of Agricultural Sciences
University of Helsinki, Department of Agricultural Sciences



Date: 2021-07
Language: eng
Number of pages: 16
Belongs to series: European Journal of Soil Science
ISSN: 1351-0754
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1111/ejss.13003
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10138/332295
Abstract: To achieve appropriate yield levels, inherent nitrogen (N) supply and biological N fixation are often complemented by fertilization. To avoid economic losses and negative environmental impacts due to over-application of N fertilizer, estimation of the inherent N supply is critical. We aimed to identify the roles of soil texture and organic matter in N mineralization and yield levels attained in cereal cultivation with or without N fertilization in boreal mineral soils. First, the net N mineralization and soil respiration were measured by laboratory incubation with soil samples varying in clay and organic carbon (C) contents. Secondly, to estimate the inherent soil N supply under field conditions, both unfertilized and fertilized cereal yields were measured in fields on clay soils (clay 30-78%) and coarse-textured soils (clay 0-28%). In clay soils (C 2.5-9.0%), both the net N mineralization and the cereal yields (without and with fertilization) decreased with increasing clay/C ratio. Moreover, in soils with high clay/C ratio, the agronomic N use efficiency (additional yield per kg of fertilizer N) varied considerably, indicating the presence of growth limitations other than N. In coarse-textured soils, the yield increase attained by fertilization increased with increasing organic C. Our results indicate that for clay soils in a cool and humid climate, the higher the clay content, the more organic C is needed to produce reasonable yields and to ensure efficient use of added nutrients without high N losses to the environment. For coarse soils having a rather high mean organic C of 2.3%, the organic C appeared to improve agronomic N use efficiency. For farmers, simple indicators such as the clay/C ratio or the use of non-N-fertilized control plots may be useful for site-specific adjustment of the rates of N fertilization. Highlights We aimed to identify simple indicators of inherent soil N supply applicable at the farm level. In clay soils, the net N mineralization was found to correlate negatively with the clay/C ratio. In coarse-textured soils, agronomic N use efficiency improved with increasing soil organic C. Clay soils with high clay/C ratio are at risk of low yield levels.
Subject: DYNAMICS
FERTILIZATION
INCREASES
MATTER FRACTIONS
METAANALYSIS
MICROBIAL BIOMASS
N mineralization
RESPIRATION
TEXTURE
TURNOVER
WATER CONTENT
agricultural soil
clay
soil carbon mineralization
soil fertility
yield response
415 Other agricultural sciences
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