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This article in SSSAJ

  1. Vol. 24 No. 1, p. 50-54
     
    Received: July 6, 1959
    Published: Jan, 1960


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doi:10.2136/sssaj1960.03615995002400010022x

Dissimilar Nitrifying Capacities of Soils in Relation to Losses of Applied Nitrogen1

  1. Francis E. Clark,
  2. William E. Beard and
  3. Donald H. Smith2

Abstract

Abstract

Forty-one soil lots from arable fields were found to vary widely in their nitrifying capacities when given an initial treatment of 400 ppm. of urea N and then incubated under standard conditions in the laboratory. Mineral N deficits exceeding 25% of the N applied were noted for poorly buffered soils which accumulated NO2- during incubation and which were initially acid in reaction or could achieve acidity during the course of nitrification of the added urea. Nitrogen deficits following treatment with KNO2 were directly linked to initial soil pH values; they occurred in acid but not in alkaline soil. Conversion of the added NO2- to NO3- did not change the reaction of initially alkaline soils nor was it accompanied by the development of any significant N deficit. The data are believed to support the hypothesis that the instability or reactivity of nitrous acid in soil is at times responsible for large losses of gaseous N from fully aerobic soils.

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