Potential nitrogen losses in relation to spatially distinct soil management history and biochar addition

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Abstract

Soil functional zone management strategies including ridge tillage have been shown to increase in-row (IR) compared with between-row (BR) soil nitrogen (N) availability due to the development of contrasting soil properties and carbon (C) and N cycling processes. However, potential N losses may also increase for IR positions, representing an environmental tradeoff. Although biochar has putative contributions to tightening N cycles, its effect within spatially distinct management zones has not been quantified. This study evaluated the potential for biochar to reduce soil nitrous oxide (N 2 O) emissions and leachate nitrate (NO 3 - ) concentrations as influenced by changes in soil properties after 5 yr of ridge tillage in a silty clay loam soil. Soil columns for IR and BR positions were treated with and without biochar at 10 Mg ha -1 in a 100-d laboratory incubation (n = 4 replications). Results indicate that biochar increased average daily N 2 O emissions in IR by 30% but decreased them by 39% in BR. In both positions, biochar decreased NO 3 - concentrations in soil solution and leachate by 11 to 20% and 10 to 15%, respectively. Our findings suggest that long-term changes in soil C and N cycling processes may increase the potential for N 2 O emissions in IR compared with BR positions. Although most biochar studies have not accounted for within-field soil variability, our results indicate that biochar may differentially affect soil N 2 O emissions depending on spatially distinct soil management history. Findings from this laboratory study stress the need for field research evaluating spatial differences in biochar N 2 O mitigation potential.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)62-69
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Environmental Quality
Volume47
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2018

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soil management
History
Nitrogen
Soils
nitrogen
history
soil
tillage
leachate
soil property
silty clay loam
soil nitrogen
soil column
loss
long-term change
nitrous oxide
soil carbon
mitigation
incubation
nitrate

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Engineering
  • Water Science and Technology
  • Waste Management and Disposal
  • Pollution
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law

Cite this

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title = "Potential nitrogen losses in relation to spatially distinct soil management history and biochar addition",
abstract = "Soil functional zone management strategies including ridge tillage have been shown to increase in-row (IR) compared with between-row (BR) soil nitrogen (N) availability due to the development of contrasting soil properties and carbon (C) and N cycling processes. However, potential N losses may also increase for IR positions, representing an environmental tradeoff. Although biochar has putative contributions to tightening N cycles, its effect within spatially distinct management zones has not been quantified. This study evaluated the potential for biochar to reduce soil nitrous oxide (N 2 O) emissions and leachate nitrate (NO 3 - ) concentrations as influenced by changes in soil properties after 5 yr of ridge tillage in a silty clay loam soil. Soil columns for IR and BR positions were treated with and without biochar at 10 Mg ha -1 in a 100-d laboratory incubation (n = 4 replications). Results indicate that biochar increased average daily N 2 O emissions in IR by 30{\%} but decreased them by 39{\%} in BR. In both positions, biochar decreased NO 3 - concentrations in soil solution and leachate by 11 to 20{\%} and 10 to 15{\%}, respectively. Our findings suggest that long-term changes in soil C and N cycling processes may increase the potential for N 2 O emissions in IR compared with BR positions. Although most biochar studies have not accounted for within-field soil variability, our results indicate that biochar may differentially affect soil N 2 O emissions depending on spatially distinct soil management history. Findings from this laboratory study stress the need for field research evaluating spatial differences in biochar N 2 O mitigation potential.",
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N2 - Soil functional zone management strategies including ridge tillage have been shown to increase in-row (IR) compared with between-row (BR) soil nitrogen (N) availability due to the development of contrasting soil properties and carbon (C) and N cycling processes. However, potential N losses may also increase for IR positions, representing an environmental tradeoff. Although biochar has putative contributions to tightening N cycles, its effect within spatially distinct management zones has not been quantified. This study evaluated the potential for biochar to reduce soil nitrous oxide (N 2 O) emissions and leachate nitrate (NO 3 - ) concentrations as influenced by changes in soil properties after 5 yr of ridge tillage in a silty clay loam soil. Soil columns for IR and BR positions were treated with and without biochar at 10 Mg ha -1 in a 100-d laboratory incubation (n = 4 replications). Results indicate that biochar increased average daily N 2 O emissions in IR by 30% but decreased them by 39% in BR. In both positions, biochar decreased NO 3 - concentrations in soil solution and leachate by 11 to 20% and 10 to 15%, respectively. Our findings suggest that long-term changes in soil C and N cycling processes may increase the potential for N 2 O emissions in IR compared with BR positions. Although most biochar studies have not accounted for within-field soil variability, our results indicate that biochar may differentially affect soil N 2 O emissions depending on spatially distinct soil management history. Findings from this laboratory study stress the need for field research evaluating spatial differences in biochar N 2 O mitigation potential.

AB - Soil functional zone management strategies including ridge tillage have been shown to increase in-row (IR) compared with between-row (BR) soil nitrogen (N) availability due to the development of contrasting soil properties and carbon (C) and N cycling processes. However, potential N losses may also increase for IR positions, representing an environmental tradeoff. Although biochar has putative contributions to tightening N cycles, its effect within spatially distinct management zones has not been quantified. This study evaluated the potential for biochar to reduce soil nitrous oxide (N 2 O) emissions and leachate nitrate (NO 3 - ) concentrations as influenced by changes in soil properties after 5 yr of ridge tillage in a silty clay loam soil. Soil columns for IR and BR positions were treated with and without biochar at 10 Mg ha -1 in a 100-d laboratory incubation (n = 4 replications). Results indicate that biochar increased average daily N 2 O emissions in IR by 30% but decreased them by 39% in BR. In both positions, biochar decreased NO 3 - concentrations in soil solution and leachate by 11 to 20% and 10 to 15%, respectively. Our findings suggest that long-term changes in soil C and N cycling processes may increase the potential for N 2 O emissions in IR compared with BR positions. Although most biochar studies have not accounted for within-field soil variability, our results indicate that biochar may differentially affect soil N 2 O emissions depending on spatially distinct soil management history. Findings from this laboratory study stress the need for field research evaluating spatial differences in biochar N 2 O mitigation potential.

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