Does long-term farmyard manure fertilization affect short-term nitrogen mineralization from farmyard manure?
One of the challenges in organic farming systems is to match nitrogen (N) mineralization from organic fertilizers and crop demand for N. The mineralization rate of organic N is mainly determined by the chemical composition of the organic matter being decomposed and the activity of the soil microflora. It has been shown that long-term organic fertilization can affect soil microbial biomass (MB), the microbial community structure, and the activity of enzymes involved in the decomposition of organic matter, but whether this has an impact on short-term N mineralization from recently applied organic substances is not yet clear. Here, we sampled soils from a long-term field experiment, which had either not been fertilized, or fertilized with 30 or 60 t ha−1 year−1 of farmyard manure (FYM) since 1989. These soil samples were used in a 10-week pot experiment with or without addition of FYM before starting (recent fertilization). At the start and end of this experiment, soil MB, microbial basal respiration, total plant N, and mineral soil N content were measured, and a simplified N balance was calculated. Although the different treatments used in the long-term experiment induced significant differences in soil MB, as well as total soil C and N contents, the total N mineralization from FYM was not significantly affected by soil fertilization history. The amount of N released from FYM and not immobilized by soil microflora was about twice as high in the soil that had been fertilized with 60 t ha−1 year−1 of FYM as compared with the non-fertilized soil (p < 0.05).
Nett, L.; Averesch, S.; Ruppel, S.; Rühlmann, J.; Feller, C.; George, E.; Fink, M. 2010. Does long-term farmyard manure fertilization affect short-term nitrogen mineralization from farmyard manure? Biology and Fertility of Soils 46 (2), 159-167.