Combined Applications of Nitrogen and Phosphorus Fertilizers with Manure Increase Maize Yield and Nutrient Uptake via Stimulating Root Growth in a Long-Term Experiment

A - Papers appearing in refereed journals

Wen, Z. H., Shen, J. B., Blackwell, M. S. A., Li, H. G., Zhao, B-Q. and Yuan, H-M. 2016. Combined Applications of Nitrogen and Phosphorus Fertilizers with Manure Increase Maize Yield and Nutrient Uptake via Stimulating Root Growth in a Long-Term Experiment. Pedosphere. 26 (1), pp. 62-73.

AuthorsWen, Z. H., Shen, J. B., Blackwell, M. S. A., Li, H. G., Zhao, B-Q. and Yuan, H-M.
Abstract

Imbalanced application of nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P) fertilizers can result in reduced crop yield, low nutrient use efficiency, and high loss of nutrients and soil nitrate nitrogen (NO−3-N) accumulation decreases when N is applied with P and/or manure; however, the effect of applications of N with P and/or manure on root growth and distribution in the soil profile is not fully understood. The aim of this study was to investigate the combined effects of different N and P fertilizer application rates with or without manure on maize (Zea mays L.) yield, N uptake, root growth, apparent N surplus, Olsen-P concentration, and mineral N (Nmin) accumulation in a fluvo-aquic calcareous soil from a long-term (28-year) experiment. The experiment comprised twelve combinations of chemical N and P fertilizers, either with or without chicken manure, as treatments in four replicates. The yield of maize grain was 82% higher, the N uptake 100% higher, and the Nmin accumulation 39% lower in the treatments with combined N and P in comparison to N fertilizer only. The maize root length density in the 30–60 cm layer was three times greater in the treatments with N and P fertilizers than with N fertilizer only. Manure addition increased maize yield by 50% and N uptake by 43%, and reduced Nmin (mostly NO−3-N) accumulation in the soil by 46%. The long-term application of manure and P fertilizer resulted in significant increases in soil Olsen-P concentration when no N fertilizer was applied. Manure application reduced the apparent N surplus for all treatments. These results suggest that combined N and P fertilizer applications could enhance maize grain yield and nutrient uptake via stimulating root growth, leading to reduced accumulation of potentially leachable NO−3 -N in soil, and manure application was a practical way to improve degraded soils in China and the rest of the world. 

Year of Publication2016
JournalPedosphere
Journal citation26 (1), pp. 62-73
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)doi:10.1016/s1002-0160(15)60023-6
Open accessPublished as non-open access
FunderBiotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council
Funder project or codeSustainability
Exploiting root exudation of organic acids and phytases to enhance plant utilisation of soil phosphorus
Optimisation of nutrients in soil-plant systems: Determining how phosphorus availability is regulated in soils
Output statusPublished
Publication dates
Online17 Dec 2015
Copyright licensePublisher copyright
ISSN1002-0160
PublisherScience Press

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