Peatland soils contain large amounts of nitrogen (N) in the soil and mineralization can contribute substantially to the annual mineral N supply of grasslands. We investigated the contribution of N mineralization from peat with respect to the total annual N uptake on grasslands with anthropogenic A horizons and submerged tile drains. The study included i) a pot experiment to determine potential N mineralization from the topsoil and the subsoil, ii) a 1-year field experiment to study herbage yields and N uptake under fertilized and non-fertilized conditions and iii) a 3-year field study where herbage yield and N uptake from the top 30 cm and the entire soil profile were monitored. The 3-year field study yielded an average N uptake of 342 kgha(-1) under non-fertilized conditions but the contribution of subsoil peat N mineralization to the total N uptake was found to be negligible. Our calculations demonstrate that peat N mineralization contributed only 10% to 30% to the total N-uptake, mainly coming from the top 30 cm. Most of the N uptake under unfertilized conditions appears to be largely the result of mineralization from long-term inputs of dung, ditch sludge, farmyard manure, cow slurry and non-harvested herbage.
- nitrogen mineralization
- cattle dung
Sonneveld, M. P. W., & Lantinga, E. A. (2011). The contribution of mineralization to grassland N uptake on peatland soils with anthropogenic A horizons. Plant and Soil, 340(1-2), 357-368. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11104-010-0608-7