Nitrogen Mineralization in Soils Related to Initial Extractable Organic Nitrogen: Effect of Temperature and Time

M. Bregliani, G.H. Ros, E.J.M. Temminghoff, W.H. van Riemsdijk

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

14 Citations (Scopus)


An important source of nitrogen (N) for crops is mineralization of soil organic matter during the growing season. Awareness is growing that dissolved organic nitrogen (DON) plays an important role in mineralization and plant uptake. We studied the influence of temperature and time on extractable organic nitrogen (EON) levels, which is a measure of DON, and their relationship with N mineralization. Aerobic incubation experiments were conducted in the laboratory for five soils at different temperatures (4 20, and 30 °C) and different time intervals with optimal water content (60% of its water-holding capacity). Net N mineralization ranged between 14 and 155 mg kg-1 within 84 days and was correlated with the initial amount of EON. Net N mineralization among the soils, time, and incubation temperatures was linearly related to the square root of time multiplied by temperature, with mineralization rate k being independent of time and temperature. Because initial EON values were also related to these kvalues, we were able to describe the net N mineralization at different temperatures based on an analysis of initial EON. Preliminary validation with results from pot experiments in the literature suggests that the approach is promising, although the proposed model needs to be calibrated with more soils
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1383-1398
JournalCommunications in Soil Science and Plant Analysis
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 2010


  • n-mineralization
  • agricultural soils
  • microbial biomass
  • sandy soils
  • cacl2 extraction
  • arable soils
  • matter
  • fractions
  • carbon
  • electroultrafiltration

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