Navigation Links
Large amounts of nitrogen stored beneath selected agricultural areas
Date:5/2/2010

MADISON, WI, May 3rd, 2010-Large amounts of nitrogen are stored in the soils of agricultural areas in Nebraska and Maryland, according to a new study by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). Once in the soil, nitrogen can be converted to nitrate, which can readily move to groundwater.

"We expected to find nitrogen stored in organic matter in these soils, but didn't realize how much," said Tom Nolan, USGS hydrologist, who led the study. "If mobilized, the large reservoirs of nitrogen could significantly impact water quality."

Nitrogen occurs in soil, plants, and groundwater, and it is difficult to account for all of the various forms it can take. For this study, scientists at the USGS National Water Quality Assessment Program and the USDA Agricultural Research Service used a new version of the Root Zone Water Quality Model to estimate unsaturated zone nitrogen mass balances at four agricultural fields. The study was reported in the May/June 2010 edition of the Journal of Environmental Quality, published by the American Society of Agronomy, the Crop Science Society of America, and the Soil Science Society of America.

The mass balances were expected to reveal the predominant forms of nitrogen in important agricultural settings. The four sites had variable climate, soils, and management practices, and included: an almond orchard in central California; a cornfield that is about 0.6 kilometers from the almond orchard; a cornsoybean crop rotation in eastern Nebraska; and a cornsoybean rotation in eastern Maryland.

The model predicted that large amounts of organic nitrogen are stored in the soil beneath fields in Nebraska and Maryland on which corn and soybean crops are grown. The model also showed that nitrogen came primarily from inorganic fertilizer or from nitrogen fixation by soybeans, and that most nitrogen was removed from the soil through uptake by crops. After crop uptake, leaching accounted for most of the nitrogen lost from the soil, particularly in irrigated areas of California. Denitrification, a process where nitrogen is removed from the soil when it is converted to its gaseous phase, occurred only sporadically at the four sites because soils generally were sandy and well-drained.

The work is novel in that the model was autocalibrated to measured data comprising soil moisture, soil water tension, bromide and nitrate concentrations, and soil organic matter. Also, previous versions of the model were limited to the rooting depth of plants (typically three meters or less). The new version of the model can make predictions down to 30 meters, enabling estimation of water quality effects well beyond the root zone. More study is needed to better understand the conditions required to mobilize and transport the stored nitrogen to groundwater.


'/>"/>

Contact: Sara Uttech
suttech@sciencesociety.org
608-268-4948
American Society of Agronomy
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. When the dinner bell rings for seafloor scavengers, larger animals get first dibs
2. Nations largest organization of ecologists offers expert database
3. The largest Last Supper
4. Experts gather to solve mystery of largest recorded die-off of great whales
5. Large mammals need protected areas, forest cover in India
6. WCC Webinar on De-Duplication in Large-Scale Identity Systems
7. New study suggests minke whales are not preventing recovery of larger whales
8. Sweet corn study provides large-scale picture of better fields
9. Small changes in protein chemistry play large role in Huntingtons disease
10. Largest gene study of childhood IBD identifies 5 new genes
11. Largest-ever database for liver proteins may lead to treatments for hepatitis
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:4/17/2017)... Florida , April 17, 2017 NXT-ID, ... technology company, announces the filing of its 2016 Annual Report on ... and Exchange Commission. ... on Form 10-K is available in the Investor Relations section of ... as on the SEC,s website at http://www.sec.gov . ...
(Date:4/11/2017)... N.Y. , April 11, 2017 ... fingerprints, but researchers at the New York University ... College of Engineering have found that partial similarities ... security systems used in mobile phones and other ... thought. The vulnerability lies in the ...
(Date:4/5/2017)... -- KEY FINDINGS The global market for ... of 25.76% during the forecast period of 2017-2025. The ... the growth of the stem cell market. ... INSIGHTS The global stem cell market is segmented on ... stem cell market of the product is segmented into ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:6/26/2017)... ... June 26, 2017 , ... Third Wave Bioactives, LLC announces the addition ... on leading new business development and ensuring quality customer experience. , Brett ... ingredient industry in technical, marketing and sales roles. “Brett’s background working with customers and ...
(Date:6/23/2017)... , ... June 23, 2017 , ... Ken Hanson, a ... of Physik Instrumente USA, have been selected as this year’s recipients of two top ... two have been invited along with other honorees to accept their awards at a ...
(Date:6/22/2017)... ... June 21, 2017 , ... Building on the success of the inaugural RAADfest ... the very latest developments in radical life extension. RAADfest combines cutting edge science presented ... empowerment of personal development, making it the largest most comprehensive and inclusive super longevity ...
(Date:6/22/2017)... ... ... The first human cell line HeLa, established in 1951, has entered cell ... human cell lines with HeLa cells were published. Until recently, cross-contamination and misidentification of ... associated with dramatic consequences for research. , In this educational webinar, which is ...
Breaking Biology Technology: