OJSS  Vol.5 No.12 , December 2015
Estimating Potential Nitrogen Mineralisation Using the Solvita Soil Respiration System
Abstract: Nitrogen (N) mineralisation contributes considerably to crop growth in fertilized and unfertilized fields. It is useful to be able to assess potential N mineralisation to increase fertilizer application efficiency, prevent excessive N runoff, and improve environmental system models. The microbes present in soil mineralize N based on many factors, including soil temperature and moisture, tillage, and levels of organic C and N. The measurement of soil’s ability to mineralize N is considered a good indicator of soil quality. Many methods have been developed to estimate N mineralisation in the laboratory and field. The 7-day anaerobic N mineralisation method developed in the 1960’s is considered reliable and is often used to compare new N-mineralisation testing methods. This study examines the use of soil CO2 evolution as determined using the Solvita Soil Respiration System (Solvita) for estimating N mineralisation by comparing it directly to the anaerobic N mineralisation test. Measured CO2 using Solvita was strongly correlated with anaerobic N mineralisation (r2 = 0.82). Results indicate that the Solvita Soil Respiration System can be used to rapidly assess soil respiration and relative N mineralisation potential in any given soil and is considerably faster and easier to perform in a laboratory setting than the anaerobic N mineralisation test.
Cite this paper: Haney, R. and Haney, E. (2015) Estimating Potential Nitrogen Mineralisation Using the Solvita Soil Respiration System. Open Journal of Soil Science, 5, 319-323. doi: 10.4236/ojss.2015.512030.

[1]   Jha, M.K., Gassman, P.W. and Panagopoulos, Y. (2015) Regional Changes in Nitrate Loadings in the Upper Mississippi River Basin under Predicted Mid-Century Climate. Regional Environmental Change, 15, 449-460.

[2]   Wienhold, B.J. (2007) Comparison of Laboratory Methods and an in Situ Method for Estimating Nitrogen Mineralisation in an Irrigated Silt-Loam Soil. Communications in Soil Science and Plant Analysis, 38, 1721-1732.

[3]   Smith, N.R. and Humfeld, H. (1931) The Decomposition of Green Manures Grown on a Soil and Turned under Compared to the Decomposition of Green Manures Added to a Fallow Soil. Journal of Agricultural Research, 43, 715-731.

[4]   Gainey, P.L. (1919) Parallel Formation of Carbon Dioxide, Ammonia, and Nitrate in Soil. Soil Science, 7, 293-311.

[5]   Lebedjantzev, A.N. (1924) Drying of Soil, as One of the Natural Factors in Maintaining Soil Fertility. Soil Science, 18, 419-447.

[6]   Birch, H.F. (1960) Nitrification in Soils after Different Periods of Dryness. Plant Soil, 7, 81-96.

[7]   Deenik, J. (2006) Nitrogen Mineralization Potential in Important Agricultural Soils of Hawai’I. University of Hawaii, Honolulu (HI), 5 p. (Soil and Crop Management; SCM-15).

[8]   Doran, J., Kettler T. and Tsivou M. (1997) Field and Laboratory Solvita Soil Test Evaluation. Manuscript University of Nebraska USDA-ARS, Lincoln.

[9]   Haney, R., Brinton W. and Evans E. (2008) Estimating Soil Carbon, Nitrogen, and Phosphorus Mineralization from Short-Term CO2 Respiration. Communications in Soil Science and Plant Analysis, 39, 2706-2720.

[10]   Jin, V.L., Johnson M-V.V., Haney R.L. and Arnold J.G. (2011) Potential Carbon and Nitrogen Mineralization in Soils from a Perennial Forage Production System Amended with Class B Biosolids. Agriculture, Ecosystems & Environment, 141, 461-465.

[11]   Harmel, R.D. and Haney, R.L. (2013) Initial Field Evaluation of the Agro-Economic Effects of Determining Nitrogen Fertilizer Rates with a Recently-Developed Soil Test Methodology. Open Journal of Soil Science, 3, 91-99.

[12]   Franzluebbers, A.J., Haney, R.L., Honeycutt, C.W., Schomberg, H.H. and Hons, F.M. (2000) Flush of Carbon Dioxide Following Rewetting of Dried Soil Relates to Active Organic Pools. Soil Science Society of America Journal, 64, 613-623.

[13]   Wang, W.J., Smith, C.J. and Chen, D. (2003) Towards a Standardized Procedure for Determining the Potentially Mineralizable Nitrogen of Soil. Biology and Fertility of Soils, 37, 362-374.

[14]   Waring, S.A. and Bremner, J.M. (1964) Ammonium Production in Soil under Water-Logged Conditions as an Index of Nitrogen Availability. Nature, 201, 951-952.

[15]   Schomberg, H.H., Weitholter, S., Griffin, T.S., Reeves, D.W., Cabrera, M.L., Fisher, D.S., Endale, D.M., Novak, J.M., Balkcom, K.S., Raper, R.L., Kitchen, N.R., Locke, M.A., et al. (2009) Assessing Indices for Predicting Potential Nitrogen Mineralization in Soils under Different Management Systems. Soil Science Society of America Journal, 73, 1575-1586.

[16]   Schulte, E.E. and Hopkins, B.G. (1996) Estimation of Organic Matter by Weight Loss-on-Ignition. In: Magdoff, F.R., et al., Eds., Soil Organic Matter: Analysis and Interpretation, SSSA Special Publication Number 46, SSSA, Madison, 21-31.

[17]   Haney, R.L. and Haney, E.B. (2010) Simple and Rapid Laboratory Method for Rewetting Dry Soil for Incubations. Communications in Soil and Plant Analysis, 41, 1493-1501.

[18]   Systat Software, Inc. (2012) SigmaPlot for Windows, Version 12.5, Germany.

[19]   Franzluebbers, A.J. and Haney, R.L. (2006) Flush of CO2 as a Soil Biological Quality Indicator. Proceedings of the 17th Conference of the International Soil Tillage Research Organization (CD-ROM), Kiel, 3 August-26 September 2006, 736-740.

[20]   Haney, R.L., Franzluebbers, A.J., Jin, V.L., Johnson, M.-V., Haney, E.B., White, M.J. and Harmel, R.D. (2012) Soil Organic C:N vs. Water-Extractable Organic C:N. Open Journal of Soil Science, 2, 269-274.