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Effect of clay amendments on nitrogen leaching and forms in a sandy soil

Sitthaphanit, S., Bell, R.W. and Limpinuntana, V. (2010) Effect of clay amendments on nitrogen leaching and forms in a sandy soil. In: Gilkes RJ, Prakongkep N, editors. Proceedings of the 19th World Congress of Soil Science; Soil Solutions for a Changing World; Published on DVD;, 1 - 6 August, Brisbane, Australia, pp 107-110 pp. 107-110.

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Nitrogen (N) leaching in sandy soil decreases fertiliser use efficiency and may depress plant production. Application of high cation exchange capacity (CEC) materials (e.g. high activity clay minerals) is hypothesized to reduce N leaching and increase plant N uptake in sandy soils. However, the mechanism of leaching in sands with clay amendment is not understood. A column experiment was conducted to determine N leaching and N concentration in soil solution in a sandy soil (1.4 % clay) with three soil amendments (nil, clay soil and bentonite clay) and three fertiliser rates (0, 28 N 17 P 22 K kg/ha and 56 N 34 P 44 K kg/ha). Soil amendments were applied at the rate of 50 Mg/ha. The soil columns were leached with de-ionised water equivalent to 50 mm rainfall every 4 days. Concentrations of soil solution extracted by Rhizon samplers indicated that NH4 leaching was decreased 38-43 % by bentonite addition but little of the soil solution N was in NO3 form and bentonite had no effect on mobility of this form of N. The application of bentonite was able to hold NH4 in soil solution of top soil. Leaching of NH4 was delayed to 15 day after fertiliser application in bentonite-amended sand.

Publication Type: Conference Paper
Murdoch Affiliation: School of Environmental Science
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