Springer Online Journal Archives 1860-2000
Agriculture, Forestry, Horticulture, Fishery, Domestic Science, Nutrition
Summary A study was conducted to determine the effects of grinding, added N, and the absence of soil on C mineralization from agricultural plant residues with a high C:N ratio. The evolution of CO2 from ground and unground wheat straw, lentil straw, and lentil green manure, with C:N ratios of 80, 36, and 9, respectively, was determined over a period of 98 days. Treatments with added N were included with the wheat and lentil straw. Although the CO2 evolution was initially much faster from the lentil green manure than from the lentil or wheat straw, by 98 days similar amounts of CO2 had evolved from all residues incubated in soil with no added N. Incubation of plant residues in the absence of soil had little effect on CO2 evolution from the lentil green manure or lentil straw but strongly reduced CO2 evolution from the wheat straw. Grinding did not affect CO2 evolution from the lentil green manure but increased CO2 evolution from the lentil straw with no added N and from the wheat straw. The addition of N increased the rate of CO2 evolution from ground wheat straw between days 4 and 14 but not from unground wheat straw, and only slightly increased the rate of CO2 evolution from lentil straw during the initial decomposition. Over 98 days, the added N reduced the amounts of CO2 evolved from both lentil and wheat straw, due to reduced rates of CO2 evolution after ca. 17 days. The lack of an N response during the early stages of decomposition may be attributed to the low C:N ratio of the soluble straw component and to microbial adaptations to an N deficiency, while the inhibitory effect of N on CO2 evolution during the later stages of decomposition may be attributed to effects of high mineral N concentrations on lignocellulolytic microorganisms and enzymes.
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