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University of Arizona (1996)

Nitrogen cycling in irrigated crop production on hyperthermic soils within the Sonoran Desert

McGee, Eric Arthur

Titre : Nitrogen cycling in irrigated crop production on hyperthermic soils within the Sonoran Desert

Auteur : McGee, Eric Arthur

Université de soutenance : University of Arizona

Grade : Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) 1996

Résumé
Nitrogen (N) cycling involves the gains, losses, and transformations of N from sources such as soil organic matter, crop residues, and fertilizers. These sources are the primary N supplies potentially available to non-leguminous crops. Through the use of a stable N isotope tracer (¹⁵N), transformations among various soil N pools can be studied. We conducted three separate studies using ¹⁵N. Two studies dealt with methodologies of ¹⁵N use and analysis, while the third study investigated mineralization of ¹⁵N labeled crop residues under field conditions. The first study evaluated a new apparatus for applying ¹⁵N by fertigation to subplots under buried drip irrigation. We determined that this method was an effective means of uniformly applying tracers using buried drip irrigation. The second study evaluated a new method for fine-grinding soils based on particle size distribution and variability of organic N and ¹⁵N analyses. Soils of varying texture were rapidly ground to achieve acceptable analytical precision for N and ¹⁵N analysis. The objectives of the third experiment were to : (i) evaluate mineralization of inorganic N from ¹⁵N -labeled crop residues with different C/N ratios and at different loading rates and (ii) evaluate the influence of residue loading rate and type on the percent net mineralization from ¹⁵N-labeled crop residues in a basin irrigated wheat cropping system in Southern Arizona. Mineralization of crop residues in this hyperthermic soil was rapid and was often followed by periods of re-immobilization. Net end-of-season mineralization of residue N was 30-50% for lettuce, and 30-40% for wheat.

Mots clés : Hydrology. ; Irrigation farming — Sonoran Desert. ; Nitrogen cycle.

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