Navigation Links
Nitrogen fertilizers' impact on lawn soils
Date:11/4/2011

FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 4, 2011 -- Nitrogen fertilizers from farm fields often end up in aquatic ecosystems, resulting in water quality problems, such as toxic algae and underwater 'dead zones'. There are concerns that fertilizers used on lawns may also contribute to these problems. All of the lawns in the United States cover an area almost as large as Florida, making turfgrass our largest 'crop' and lawn fertilizer use a legitimate issue.

In a study funded by the National Science Foundation Ecosystem Studies and Long Term Ecological Research programs, researchers from Cornell University and the Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies have utilized recent technological advances to measure gaseous nitrogen emissions in home lawns.

In the past, scientists have conducted nitrogen input-output studies on lawns to determine how much nitrogen is taken up by vegetation or deposited in soils, and how much is lost. These studies have rarely provided any accurate data, and the 'missing' nitrogen has usually been attributed to denitrification, a process that removes nitrogen from soils by converting nitrate into nitrogen gas.

High soil moisture, low soil oxygen, and sufficient nitrogen availability are all factors that lead to denitrification, which occurs mostly in small areas during brief time periods. This makes it hard to pinpoint peak activity, and measure the process outside of the lab. Additionally, because there is so much nitrogen gas in our atmosphere, it has been difficult for researchers to detect the nitrogen gas produced by denitrification.

In this study, researchers overcame these challenges to measure rates of denitrification from residential lawns in Baltimore, MD. They found that denitrification is an important pathway for removing excess nitrogen from lawns. Nitrogen removals by denitrification were equivalent to 15% of annual fertilizer inputs to the study lawns. The majority of this nitrogen removal occurred over a small time period when soil conditions were favorable to high rates of denitrification. While small amounts of nitrogen were transported to groundwater and streams, the majority of fertilizer nitrogen inputs were retained in lawn soils.

The results from this study are encouraging, but much more work needs to be done to apply the results to a wider range of soil, climatic, and lawn management conditions. While most of the nitrogen losses from denitrification were in the form of nitrogen gas, the results suggest the possibility of significant losses as nitrous oxide, a greenhouse gas more potent than carbon dioxide. Continuing excessive fertilizer applications will likely saturate soil storage capacity, resulting in the harmful transfer of nitrogen to surface and ground water.

The complete results from this study can be found in the November/December issue of Journal of Environmental Quality.


'/>"/>

Contact: James Giese
jgiese@sciencesocieties.org
608-268-3976
American Society of Agronomy
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. Bacteria forge nitrogen from nitric oxide
2. Bedrock nitrogen may help forests buffer climate change, study finds
3. Nitrogen in the soil cleans the air
4. New study outlines economic and environmental benefits to reducing nitrogen pollution
5. Sewage-derived nitrogen increasingly polluting Caribbean ecosystems
6. Book looks at interrelationships among nitrogen, plants and the environment
7. Excessive nitrogen harms the economy and environment -- first Europe-wide assessment published
8. Improving nitrogen use efficiency lessens environmental impact
9. High nitrogen fertilizers tested on post-transplant ornamentals
10. Dodds contributes to new national study on nitrogen water pollution
11. New study focuses on nitrogen in waterways as cause of nitrous oxide in the atmosphere
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:3/15/2016)... New York , March 15, 2016 ... new market report published by Transparency Market Research "Digital Door ... Trends and Forecast 2015 - 2023," the global digital door ... US$ 731.9 Mn in 2014 and is forecast to grow ... 2023. Growth of micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) across ...
(Date:3/11/2016)... http://www.apimages.com ) - --> http://www.apimages.com ) - ... Images ( http://www.apimages.com ) - Germany . ... new refugee identity cards. DERMALOG will be unveiling this device, and ... Hanover next week.   --> Germany ... the new refugee identity cards. DERMALOG will be unveiling this device, ...
(Date:3/9/2016)... March 9, 2016 This BCC Research report ... of the RNA Sequencing (RNA Seq) market for the ... instruments, tools and reagents, data analysis, and services. ... of the RNA-Sequencing market such as RNA-Sequencing tools and ... main factors affecting each segment and forecast their market ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:5/5/2016)... ... May 05, 2016 , ... ... identification of its first three targets, it has identified a fourth in a ... implicated in the development and progression of Alzheimer’s disease (AD). , ...
(Date:5/4/2016)... N.J. , May 4, 2016  Bayer ... its oncology compound Stivarga ® (regorafenib) tablets ... carcinoma (HCC) has met its primary endpoint of ... study, called RESORCE, evaluated the efficacy and safety ... has progressed after treatment with sorafenib. The safety ...
(Date:5/4/2016)... ... 04, 2016 , ... Nutrafol®, a first-to-market smart-supplement for healthy ... stress related hair loss. With patent-pending formulas for both female hair loss and ... the medical and salon channels nationwide. , Dermatologists, Plastic Surgeons and hair ...
(Date:5/3/2016)... ... 03, 2016 , ... Leading CEOs from biotech, pharmaceutical, and ... June 1st at The Four Seasons Hotel Boston. , The Boston CEO Conference ... exclusive access to key decision makers who influence deal making and investment. Attendees ...
Breaking Biology Technology: