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Soil Science:
doi: 10.1097/SS.0000000000000047
Technical Article

Laboratory Methods for the Estimation of Soil Apparent N Mineralization and Wheat N Uptake in Calcareous Soils

Villar, Nerea1; Aizpurua, Ana1; Castellón, Ander1; Ortuzar, Maria Arritokieta2; Moro, Maria Begoña Gonzalez3; Besga, Gerardo1

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Abstract

Abstract: Estimating soil N mineralization is important for determining the amount of N fertilizer needed to obtain optimum yields at minimal environmental and economic costs. The aim of this work was to determine the most appropriate laboratory method for the estimation of N mineralization during a winter wheat-growing season in calcareous soils under a humid Mediterranean climate. Laboratory methods were developed involving three chemical extractants, CaCl2, KCl, and NaHCO3, and several soil-drying and extraction temperatures. Soil N indexes calculated based on extractions were compared with potentially mineralizable N (No). Moreover, soil mineralization indexes estimated from both chemical extractions and aerobic incubation were related to apparent N mineralization and wheat N uptake in a pot experiment. The mineralization index estimated from an extraction with KCl boiled at 100°C (HotKCl) was the index that best correlated with No and the apparent mineralization under greenhouse conditions. The combination of preplant soil mineral N and the HotKCl N mineralization index was more strongly correlated with wheat N uptake than soil mineral N data alone. Consequently, estimation of N mineralization using HotKCl extraction is the most appropriate methodology for establishing N fertilizer use recommendations for wheat cultivation in calcareous soils under Mediterranean conditions.

© 2014Wolters Kluwer Health | Lippincott Williams & Wilkins

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