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Long-term management effects on plant N uptake and topsoil carbon levels in Swedish long-term field experiments: cereals and ley, crop residue treatment and fertilizer N application

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Estimates of soil N mineralization capacity and the factors that control the rates are necessary for optimal N management. Long-term field experiments can be used to measure how different management options affect the amount and quality of soil organic matter (SOM) – the substrate for N mineralization. Net N mineralization was estimated in a pot experiment as N uptake by ryegrass (Lolium perenne) grown in pots with soils from 30 Swedish long-term field fertility experimental treatments (16–40 years). The long-term management effects of cereal and ley rotations, crop residue removal and return and inorganic N application on ryegrass N uptake were investigated and related to soil organic carbon (SOC) content. Total plant N uptake during three months varied between 9 and 27 mg N kg -1 (23–67 kg N ha -1 ) and increased with SOC concentration and previous application levels of inorganic N. Soil from crop rotations with ley mineralized about 50% more N than soil from crop rotations with only cereals. Plant N uptake and SOC were not significantly affected by crop residue return.

Keywords: Crop residue treatment; SOM; crop rotations; pot experiment; soil fertility

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: Department of Soil Sciences, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Uppsala, Sweden

Publication date: March 1, 2005

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