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Short-term patterns of carbon and nitrogen mineralisation in a fallow field amended with green manures from agroforestry trees
Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Umeå.
Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Umeå, Sweden.ORCID iD: 0000-0003-4384-5014
International Centre for Research in Agroforestry, Nairobi, Kenya, .
Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Umeå.
2002 (English)In: Biology and Fertility of Soils, ISSN 0178-2762, E-ISSN 1432-0789, Vol. 36, no 1, 18-25 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The mineralisation of green manure from agroforestry trees was monitored with the objective to compare the temporal dynamics of mineralisation of litter from different species. Green manures from five agroforestry tree species were used on a fallow field during the long rainy season of 1997 (March–August) and from two species in the following short rainy season (September–January) in western Kenya. Different methods, i.e. measurements of isotopic ratios of C in respired CO2 and of soil organic matter (SOM) fractions, soil inorganic N and mass loss from litterbags, were used in the field to study decomposition and C and N mineralisation. Soil respiration, with the separation of added C from old soil C by using the isotopic ratio of 13C/12C in the respired CO2, correlated well with extractable NH4 + in the soil. Mineralisation was high and very rapid from residues of Sesbania sesban of high quality [e.g. low ratio of (polyphenol+lignin)/N] and low and slow from low quality residues of Grevillea robusta. Ten days after application, 37% and 8% of the added C had been respired from Sesbania and Grevillea, respectively. Apparently, as much as 70–90% of the added C was respired in 40 days from high quality green manure. Weight losses of around 80%, from high quality residues in litterbags, also indicate substantial C losses and that a build-up of SOM is unlikely. For immediate effects on soil fertility, application of high quality green manure may, however, be a viable management option. To achieve synchrony with crop demand, caution is needed in management as large amounts of N are mineralised within a few days after application.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2002. Vol. 36, no 1, 18-25 p.
National Category
Ecology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:oru:diva-37398DOI: 10.1007/s00374-002-0484-2ISI: 000177885700003OAI: oai:DiVA.org:oru-37398DiVA: diva2:751962
Available from: 2014-10-02 Created: 2014-10-02 Last updated: 2016-12-13Bibliographically approved

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