Evaluating the potential of different carbon sources to promote denitrification

A - Papers appearing in refereed journals

Dlamini, J. C., Chadwick, D. R., Hawkins, J. M. B., Martinez, J., Scholefield, D., Ma, Y. and Cardenas, L. M. 2020. Evaluating the potential of different carbon sources to promote denitrification. The Journal of Agricultural Science. 158 (3), pp. 194-205. https://doi.org/10.1017/S0021859620000520

AuthorsDlamini, J. C., Chadwick, D. R., Hawkins, J. M. B., Martinez, J., Scholefield, D., Ma, Y. and Cardenas, L. M.

Organic carbon (C) plays an essential role in the denitrification process as it supplies energy for N2O, N2 and CO2 producing reactions. The objectives of this study were to: (i) rank the reactivity of different C compounds found in manures based on their availability for denitrification and (ii) explore C-quality in different C sources based on their capacity to promote denitrification. Evaluation of different C-sources in promoting denitrification was conducted based on the molar ratio of CO2 production to NO3− reduction after incubation. Results of the first experiment (a 12-day investigation) showed that glucose and glucosamine were highly reactive C compounds with all applied NO3− being exhausted by day 3, and glucosamine had significantly high amount of NH4+-N present at end of the experiment. The glucose and glucosamine treatments resulted in significantly greater cumulative CO2 production, compared to the other treatments. In the second experiment (a 9-day investigation), all NO3− had been depleted by day 6 and 9 from acetic acid and glucose, respectively, and the greatest cumulative CO2 production was from acetic acid. The CO2 appearance to NO3− molar ratios revealed that glucose and glucosamine were compounds with highly available C in the first experiment. In the second experiment, the pig slurry and acetic acid were found to be C-sources that promoted potential denitrification. The application of slurry to soil results in the promotion of denitrification and this depends on the availability of the C compounds it contains. Understanding the relationship between C availability and denitrification potential is useful for developing denitrification mitigation strategies for organic soil amendments

KeywordsCO2 production; NO3 − reduction; C quality; Slurry; Manure
Year of Publication2020
JournalThe Journal of Agricultural Science
Journal citation158 (3), pp. 194-205
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.1017/S0021859620000520
Web address (URL)https://doi.org/10.1017/ S0021859620000520
Open accessPublished as non-open access
FunderBiotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council
The British Council
Funder project or codeS2N - Soil to Nutrition - Work package 2 (WP2) - Adaptive management systems for improved efficiency and nutritional quality
S2N - Soil to Nutrition - Work package 1 (WP1) - Optimising nutrient flows and pools in the soil-plant-biota system
Output statusPublished
Publication dates
Online09 Jul 2020
Publication process dates
Accepted08 Jun 2020
PublisherCambridge University Press (CUP)

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