Effect of ploughing and reseeding of permanent grassland on soil N, N leaching and nitrous oxide emissions from a clay-loam soil

M. Necpálová, I. Casey, J. Humphreys

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

This study evaluated the effect of grassland renovation on soil total N, soluble N, N leaching to groundwater and nitrous oxide (N2O) fluxes from poorly drained clay loam soils on a dairy farm in Ireland. The experimental area was divided into six blocks. In June 2008, one paddock in each block was ploughed and reseeded, and subsequently compared with a permanent grassland paddock. Nitrogen in groundwater was determined in a dense network of piezometers. Soil total N along with soluble N assessed in KCl extracts were determined at three depths to 0.9 m. The N2O fluxes were measured using the static chamber technique. Renovation decreased topsoil total N and soluble organic N (P < 0.05) resulting in an average loss of 3.1 t and 13.4 kg N ha-1 in 1.7 years following renovation, respectively. Renovation increased nitrate and nitrite concentrations in groundwater (P < 0.0001), and N2O fluxes (P < 0.0001) for more than a year; the residual effect decreased with time. Although the N losses due to net mineralisation were high (>3 t N ha-1), the proportion lost via N leaching and N2O emissions was unsubstantial (27.11 kg N ha-1y-1) and represented only 4.8 and 0.49 % of the N input to renovated grassland, respectively. This was likely a result of soil inherent properties and anoxic status of the soils, which likely promoted complete denitrification. Since this study was a single site study and the measurements started only months after the renovation and were relatively short term, there is some uncertainty in the results.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)305-317
Number of pages13
JournalNutrient Cycling in Agroecosystems
Volume95
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2013

Keywords

  • DON leaching
  • Grassland renovation
  • Soluble N
  • Total nitrogen

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