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Gaseous N losses from field crops

Georges Hofman (UGent) and Oswald Van Cleemput (UGent)
(2001) Acta Horticulturae. 563. p.155-162
Author
Organization
Abstract
Nitrogen cycling in the soil-plant-atmosphere has been a topic of considerable interest over the years. Nitrogen balance studies showed that not all of the soil and fertilizer N could be accounted for at the end of the growing season. In addition to losses by drainage, run-off and erosion, gaseous losses are at least partly responsible for the discrepancy between input and output of nitrogen. Gaseous losses occur by NH3 volatilization from fertilizers, NOx, N2O and N-2 losses by denitrification and nitrification and from NH3 losses from crops. Ammonia volatilization is governed by the chemical characteristics of the soil (pH, CaCO3 content, CEC), by climatological conditions (temperature and moisture content) and by agricultural practices. Urea hydrolysis causes a pH increase and thus NH3 volatilization, even in soils with a low pH. Without precautions, more than 50% of the total NH4+-N content in slurry and more than 30% of the N-content in urea and NH4+-containing fertilizers can be lost by volatilization of NH3. Low temperatures, high moisture contents and/or the quick incorporation of applied fertilizers (organic or inorganic) will reduce these losses. Although abiotic production of NO and N2O is possible, the main processes responsible for the formation of these products are denitrification or as a side product of the nitrification process. Total losses, including N-2 production, can be of the order of 20-30 kg N ha(-1). Available nitrate and organic matter, low oxygen contents as well as some management practices and environmental factors are responsible for high losses by denitrification. Irrigation, common in vegetable cropping systems, can result in higher losses compared to arable crops. Ammonia losses from or absorption by crops depends on the ammonia compensation point. Although there is clear evidence that NH3 losses from crops occur, further research is needed to quantify the net losses more exactly.
Keywords
denitrification, ammonia volatilization, nitrification, NH3 losses by crops, ATMOSPHERIC AMMONIA, NITROGEN, SOIL, EXCHANGE, DENITRIFICATION, EMISSIONS, TRANSPORT, CALCIUM, LEAVES, PLANT

Citation

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Chicago
Hofman, Georges, and Oswald Van Cleemput. 2001. “Gaseous N Losses from Field Crops.” In Acta Horticulturae, ed. CR Rahn, RD Lillywhite, Stefaan De Neve, M Fink, and C Ramos, 563:155–162. Leuven, Belgium: International Society for Horticultural Science (ISHS).
APA
Hofman, G., & Van Cleemput, O. (2001). Gaseous N losses from field crops. In C. Rahn, R. Lillywhite, S. De Neve, M. Fink, & C. Ramos (Eds.), Acta Horticulturae (Vol. 563, pp. 155–162). Presented at the International conference on Environmental Problems Associated with Nitrogen Fertilisation of Field Grown Vegetable Crops, Leuven, Belgium: International Society for Horticultural Science (ISHS).
Vancouver
1.
Hofman G, Van Cleemput O. Gaseous N losses from field crops. In: Rahn C, Lillywhite R, De Neve S, Fink M, Ramos C, editors. Acta Horticulturae. Leuven, Belgium: International Society for Horticultural Science (ISHS); 2001. p. 155–62.
MLA
Hofman, Georges, and Oswald Van Cleemput. “Gaseous N Losses from Field Crops.” Acta Horticulturae. Ed. CR Rahn et al. Vol. 563. Leuven, Belgium: International Society for Horticultural Science (ISHS), 2001. 155–162. Print.
@inproceedings{402060,
  abstract     = {Nitrogen cycling in the soil-plant-atmosphere has been a topic of considerable interest over the years. Nitrogen balance studies showed that not all of the soil and fertilizer N could be accounted for at the end of the growing season. In addition to losses by drainage, run-off and erosion, gaseous losses are at least partly responsible for the discrepancy between input and output of nitrogen. Gaseous losses occur by NH3 volatilization from fertilizers, NOx, N2O and N-2 losses by denitrification and nitrification and from NH3 losses from crops. 
Ammonia volatilization is governed by the chemical characteristics of the soil (pH, CaCO3 content, CEC), by climatological conditions (temperature and moisture content) and by agricultural practices. Urea hydrolysis causes a pH increase and thus NH3 volatilization, even in soils with a low pH. Without precautions, more than 50% of the total NH4+-N content in slurry and more than 30% of the N-content in urea and NH4+-containing fertilizers can be lost by volatilization of NH3. Low temperatures, high moisture contents and/or the quick incorporation of applied fertilizers (organic or inorganic) will reduce these losses. 
Although abiotic production of NO and N2O is possible, the main processes responsible for the formation of these products are denitrification or as a side product of the nitrification process. Total losses, including N-2 production, can be of the order of 20-30 kg N ha(-1). Available nitrate and organic matter, low oxygen contents as well as some management practices and environmental factors are responsible for high losses by denitrification. Irrigation, common in vegetable cropping systems, can result in higher losses compared to arable crops. 
Ammonia losses from or absorption by crops depends on the ammonia compensation point. Although there is clear evidence that NH3 losses from crops occur, further research is needed to quantify the net losses more exactly.},
  author       = {Hofman, Georges and Van Cleemput, Oswald},
  booktitle    = {Acta Horticulturae},
  editor       = {Rahn, CR and Lillywhite, RD and De Neve, Stefaan and Fink, M and Ramos, C},
  isbn         = {9789066059740},
  issn         = {0567-7572},
  keywords     = {denitrification,ammonia volatilization,nitrification,NH3 losses by crops,ATMOSPHERIC AMMONIA,NITROGEN,SOIL,EXCHANGE,DENITRIFICATION,EMISSIONS,TRANSPORT,CALCIUM,LEAVES,PLANT},
  language     = {eng},
  location     = {Potsdam, Germany},
  pages        = {155--162},
  publisher    = {International Society for Horticultural Science (ISHS)},
  title        = {Gaseous N losses from field crops},
  url          = {http://www.actahort.org/books/563/563_19.htm},
  volume       = {563},
  year         = {2001},
}

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