Staff Publications

Staff Publications

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    'Staff publications' is the digital repository of Wageningen University & Research

    'Staff publications' contains references to publications authored by Wageningen University staff from 1976 onward.

    Publications authored by the staff of the Research Institutes are available from 1995 onwards.

    Full text documents are added when available. The database is updated daily and currently holds about 240,000 items, of which 72,000 in open access.

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    Above- and Below-ground Cascading Effects of Wild Ungulates in Temperate Forests
    Ramirez, Ignacio ; Jansen, Patrick A. ; Ouden, Jan den; Moktan, Laxmi ; Herdoiza, Natalie ; Poorter, Lourens - \ 2020
    Ecosystems (2020). - ISSN 1432-9840
    decomposition - invertebrate - litter - mineralization - regeneration - rodent - soil quality - temperate forest - Ungulate

    Ungulates have become abundant in many temperate forests, shifting tree species composition by browsing and altering soil physical conditions by trampling. Whether these effects cascade down to other trophic levels and ecosystem processes is poorly understood. Here, we assess the paths through which ungulates have cascading effects on other trophic levels (regeneration, litter, invertebrates, rodents and organic matter decomposition). We compared ungulate effects by comparing 15 response variables related to different trophic levels between paired fenced and unfenced plots in twelve temperate forest sites across the Netherlands, and used pathway analysis model to identify the (in)direct pathways through which ungulates have influenced these variables. We found that plots with ungulates (that is, unfenced) compared to plots without (that is, fenced) had lower litter depth, sapling diversity, sapling density, rodent activity, macro-invertebrate biomass, decomposition rate of tea bags, pine and birch litter and higher soil compaction. These findings were used in a path analysis to establish potential causal relationships, which showed that ungulate presence: decreased sapling density, which indirectly decreased rodent activity; decreased litter depth, which indirectly reduced invertebrate diversity; increased soil compaction, which also decreased invertebrate diversity. Soil pH decreased invertebrate biomass, which also increased nitrogen mineralization. Yet, we did not find cascading effects of ungulates on decomposition rates. Importantly, an increase in ungulate abundance strengthens the cascading effects in this system. Our results suggest that ungulates can trigger cascading effects on lower trophic levels, yet decomposition and mineralization rates are resilient to ungulate browsing and trampling. Therefore, temperate forests conservation could benefit by limiting ungulate abundance.

    Data from: Warming enhances sedimentation and decomposition of organic carbon in shallow macrophyte-dominated systems with zero net effect on carbon burial
    Velthuis, Mandy ; Kosten, S. ; Aben, Ralf ; Kazanjian, Garabet ; Hilt, Sabine ; Peeters, E.T.H.M. ; Donk, Ellen van; Bakker, Elisabeth S. - \ 2019
    NIOO-KNAW
    carbon cycle - decomposition - global warming - mineralization - phenology - primary production - sedimentation - submerged aquatic plant
    Temperatures have been rising throughout recent decades and are predicted to rise further in the coming century. Global warming affects carbon cycling in freshwater ecosystems, which both emit and bury substantial amounts of carbon on a global scale. Currently, most studies focus on the effect of warming on overall carbon emissions from freshwater ecosystems, while net effects on carbon budgets may strongly depend on burial in sediments. Here, we tested whether year‐round warming increases the production, sedimentation, or decomposition of particulate organic carbon and eventually alters the carbon burial in a typical shallow freshwater system. We performed an indoor experiment in eight mesocosms dominated by the common submerged aquatic plant Myriophyllum spicatum testing two temperature treatments: a temperate seasonal temperature control and a warmed (+4°C) treatment (n = 4). During a full experimental year, the carbon stock in plant biomass, dissolved organic carbon in the water column, sedimented organic matter, and decomposition of plant detritus were measured. Our results showed that year‐round warming nearly doubled the final carbon stock in plant biomass from 6.9 ± 1.1 g C in the control treatment to 12.8 ± 0.6 g C (mean ± SE), mainly due to a prolonged growing season in autumn. DOC concentrations did not differ between the treatments, but organic carbon sedimentation increased by 60% from 96 ± 9.6 to 152 ± 16 g C m−2 year−1 (mean ± SE) from control to warm treatments. Enhanced decomposition of plant detritus in the warm treatment, however, compensated for the increased sedimentation. As a result, net carbon burial was 40 ± 5.7 g C m−2 year−1 in both temperature treatments when fluxes were combined into a carbon budget model. These results indicate that warming can increase the turnover of organic carbon in shallow macrophyte‐dominated systems, while not necessarily affecting net carbon burial on a system scale.
    Warming enhances sedimentation and decomposition of organic carbon in shallow macrophyte-dominated systems with zero net effect on carbon burial
    Velthuis, Mandy ; Kosten, Sarian ; Aben, Ralf ; Kazanjian, Garabet ; Hilt, Sabine ; Peeters, Edwin T.H.M. ; Donk, Ellen van; Bakker, Elisabeth S. - \ 2018
    Global Change Biology 24 (2018)11. - ISSN 1354-1013 - p. 5231 - 5242.
    carbon cycle - decomposition - global warming - mineralization - phenology - primary production - sedimentation - submerged aquatic plant

    Temperatures have been rising throughout recent decades and are predicted to rise further in the coming century. Global warming affects carbon cycling in freshwater ecosystems, which both emit and bury substantial amounts of carbon on a global scale. Currently, most studies focus on the effect of warming on overall carbon emissions from freshwater ecosystems, while net effects on carbon budgets may strongly depend on burial in sediments. Here, we tested whether year-round warming increases the production, sedimentation, or decomposition of particulate organic carbon and eventually alters the carbon burial in a typical shallow freshwater system. We performed an indoor experiment in eight mesocosms dominated by the common submerged aquatic plant Myriophyllum spicatum testing two temperature treatments: a temperate seasonal temperature control and a warmed (+4°C) treatment (n = 4). During a full experimental year, the carbon stock in plant biomass, dissolved organic carbon in the water column, sedimented organic matter, and decomposition of plant detritus were measured. Our results showed that year-round warming nearly doubled the final carbon stock in plant biomass from 6.9 ± 1.1 g C in the control treatment to 12.8 ± 0.6 g C (mean ± SE), mainly due to a prolonged growing season in autumn. DOC concentrations did not differ between the treatments, but organic carbon sedimentation increased by 60% from 96 ± 9.6 to 152 ± 16 g C m−2 yaer−1 (mean ± SE) from control to warm treatments. Enhanced decomposition of plant detritus in the warm treatment, however, compensated for the increased sedimentation. As a result, net carbon burial was 40 ± 5.7 g C m−2 year−1 in both temperature treatments when fluxes were combined into a carbon budget model. These results indicate that warming can increase the turnover of organic carbon in shallow macrophyte-dominated systems, while not necessarily affecting net carbon burial on a system scale.

    Simulation nitrogen-limited crop growth with SWAP/WOFOST : process descriptions and user manual
    Groenendijk, Piet ; Boogaard, Hendrik ; Heinen, Marius ; Kroes, J.G. ; Supit, Iwan ; Wit, Allard de - \ 2016
    Wageningen : Wageningen Environmental Research (Wageningen Environmental Research rapport 2721) - 59
    crops - growth - soil - nitrogen - organic matter - mineralization - leaching - simulation models - nitrates - gewassen - groei - bodem - stikstof - organische stof - mineralisatie - uitspoelen - simulatiemodellen - nitraten
    This report describes a soil nitrogen module (Soil-N), which is combined with the agro-hydrological model, SWAP, and the crop growth model, WOFOST. The core of the Soil-N module is a description of the nitrogen cycle, which is coupled to the organic matter cycle based upon the RothC-26.3 model. Nitrogen can be supplied to the soil as different types of fertilizer applications and through mineralisation of organic nitrogen. Ammonium and nitrate balances are calculated including uptake by plant roots, de-nitrification and leaching of nitrate. Data exchange is on a daily base. The partitioning of nitrogen within crops and the nitrogen contents of crop residues are calculated by WOFOST and passed to the Soil-N module. SWAP generates the data for establishing the water balance of the soil compartment for which the Soil-N perform the simulations. Nitrogen uptake by the crop is calculated as the minimum of the demand by the crop and the availability of nitrogen in the soil. The crop production rate is reduced when the mineral nitrogen stock is limited. Nitrogen-fixation is based on a simple approach. An improved sub-model for phenological stages of soybean was implemented. Increasing atmospheric CO2 concentrations can be accounted for. The innovated integrated model was tested using data sets from The Netherlands, China and Argentina, for which examples are given. This new model can be used as a tool in studies, in which both water and nitrogen can be limited for crop growth.
    Intercropping affects the rate of decomposition of soil organic matter and root litter
    Cong, W. ; Hoffland, E. ; Li, L. ; Janssen, B.H. ; Werf, W. van der - \ 2015
    Plant and Soil 391 (2015)1-2. - ISSN 0032-079X - p. 399 - 411.
    plant-species richness - experimental grassland ecosystems - nitrogen deposition - northwest china - elevated co2 - diversity - biodiversity - mineralization - rhizosphere - carbon
    Aims - Intercropping increases aboveground and belowground crop productivity, suggesting potential for carbon sequestration. Here we determined whether intercropping affects decomposition of soil organic matter (SOM) and root litter. Methods - We measured in the laboratory and the field the breakdown of SOM, root litter of maize, wheat, or faba bean, litter mixtures, and a standard substrate (compost) in soils from a long term intercropping experiment. Results - Soil organic matter from intercrop plots decomposed faster than SOM from monocrop plots, but compost decomposed at similar rates in different soils. Faster SOM decomposition was associated with lower soil C:N ratio. Root litter mixtures of maize and wheat decomposed as expected from single litters, but litter mixture of maize and faba bean decomposed faster than expected, both in the laboratory and in the field. Root litter decomposed slowly in maize/wheat intercrop soil compared to the two monocropped soils in the laboratory, but the effect was absent in the field. Conclusions - Intercropping increases SOM decomposition, presumably through reduced SOM recalcitrance resulting from lower C:N ratio, higher litter input and better N retention. Depending on the crop combination, also non-additive effects of root litter mixing can enhance organic matter decomposition in intercropping soils.
    Stikstofkringloop in kalkrijke en kalkarme duinbodems : en de implicaties daarvan voor de effectiviteit van plaggen
    Kooijman, A.M. ; Bloem, J. ; Cerli, C. ; Jagers Op Akkerhuis, G.A.J.M. ; Kalbitz, K. ; Dimmers, W.J. ; Vos, A. ; Peest, A.K. ; Kemmers, R.H. - \ 2014
    Driebergen : Vereniging van Bos- en Natuurterreineigenaren (OBN rapport 2014/OBN189-DK) - 87
    duingebieden - bodemchemie - stikstof - mineralisatie - ecologisch herstel - plaggen steken - natura 2000 - duneland - soil chemistry - nitrogen - mineralization - ecological restoration - sod cutting - natura 2000
    In dit rapport staat het Natura 2000 habitattype H2130, de Grijze duinen, centraal. In veel duingebieden is de hoge stikstof-depositie een probleem voor een gunstige staat van instandhouding van de Grijze duinen. In de herstelstrategie die binnen de Programmatische Aanpak Stikstof (PAS) is uitgewerkt voor dit habitattype, staat o.a. de maatregel plaggen genoemd. In deze rapportage wordt onderzocht of plaggen de Grijze duinen minder gevoelig maakt voor stikstofdepositie en daarmee of deze maatregel effectief is. Voor het beheer van grijze duinen is het belangrijk meer inzicht te krijgen in de betekenis van N-opslag in de bodem en de rol van het bodemleven daarbij. Het in dit rapport beschreven onderzoek geeft antwoord op de vraag in welke mate micro-organismen en mesofauna, en uiteindelijk de opslag van N in organische stof in de bodem, een rol speelt bij de gevoeligheid van duinen voor N-depositie.
    Liebig's law of the minimum applied to a greenhouse gas: Alleviation of P-limitation reduces soil N2O emmission
    Baral, B.R. ; Kuyper, T.W. ; Groenigen, J.W. van - \ 2014
    Plant and Soil 374 (2014)1-2. - ISSN 0032-079X - p. 539 - 548.
    nitrous-oxide emission - agricultural soils - phosphorus - fertilizer - denitrification - mineralization - mycorrhizas - netherlands - grassland - release
    Emission of the greenhouse gas (GHG) nitrous oxide (N2O) are strongly affected by nitrogen (N) fertilizer application rates. However, the role of other nutrients through stoichiometric relations with N has hardly been studied. We tested whether phosphorus (P) availability affects N2O emission. We hypothesized that alleviation of plant P-limitation reduces N2O emission through lowering soil mineral N concentrations. We tested our hypothesis in a pot experiment with maize (Zea mays L.) growing on a P-limiting soil/sand mixture. Treatment factors included P and N fertilization and inoculation with Arbuscular Mycorrhizal Fungi (AMF; which can increase P uptake). Both N and P fertilization, as well as their interaction significantly (P <0.01) affected N2O emission. Highest N2O emissions (2.38 kg N2O-N ha(-1)) were measured at highest N application rates without P fertilization or AMF. At the highest N application rate, N2O fluxes were lowest (0.71 kg N2O-N ha(-1)) with both P fertilization and AMF. The N2O emission factors decreased with 50 % when P fertilization was applied. Our results illustrate the importance of the judicious use of all nutrients to minimize N2O emission, and thereby further underline the intimate link between sound agronomic practice and prudent soil GHG management.
    Soil pH and earthworms affect herbage nitrogen recovery from solid cattle manure in production grassland
    Rashid, M.I. ; Goede, R.G.M. de; Corral Nunez, G.A. ; Brussaard, L. ; Lantinga, E.A. - \ 2014
    Soil Biology and Biochemistry 68 (2014). - ISSN 0038-0717 - p. 1 - 8.
    carbon-dioxide - decomposition - mineralization - acidification - population - mesocosms - emissions - litter - slurry - oxide
    Long term use of inorganic fertilisers and reduced organic matter inputs have contributed to acidification of agricultural soils. This strongly affects the soil dwelling fauna and nutrient mineralisation. Organic fertilisers such as solid cattle manure (SCM) resurge as an option to overcome this acidification problem and to provide the required blend of essential macro- and micronutrients for plant growth. We assessed the effects of earthworm density (400 or 700 m-2) at two levels of soil pH (ambient and increased), with or without application of solid cattle manure (SCM), on herbage nitrogen (N) uptake, and CO2 and N2O emissions over a period of 134 days using undisturbed soil cores from an acid peat grassland in a mesocosm experiment. Liming proved to be beneficial for earthworm performance and grassland productivity. A higher soil pH and earthworm density resulted in a higher soil biological activity measured as soil respiration. The combined application of lime and earthworms increased herbage apparent N recovery from SCM by 83% compared to SCM only. In the manured treatments, herbage N uptake was positively correlated with earthworm density (R2 = 0.92). N2O emissions increased by 37% when SCM was applied compared to the unfertilised control. Following SCM application, the cumulative increase in herbage N uptake was almost ten times greater than the measured total N2O losses. No relationship was observed between earthworm density and level of N2O emission. N mineralisation and herbage N uptake from SCM in acidic peat grasslands were greatly stimulated by the combined increase in soil pH and earthworm density. This stimulated the activity of soil biota, resulting in an increased herbage N recovery from the applied SCM.
    Bodemleven en nutriëntenlevering. Chemisch.
    Alebeek, Frans van - \ 2013
    fertilizer application - mineralization - soil chemistry - organic matter - soil ecology - arable land
    Organische stofbalans Excel-applicatie : onderdeel van het project sturen van de N-mineralisatie met kennis over organische stof
    Zwart, K.B. ; Kikkert, A. ; Wolfs, A. ; Termorshuizen, A. ; Burgt, A. van der - \ 2013
    Kennisakker.nl 2013 (2013)17 juli.
    organische stof - berekening - bodembeheer - stikstof - mineralisatie - bodemvruchtbaarheid - akkerbouw - organic matter - calculation - soil management - nitrogen - mineralization - soil fertility - arable farming
    In opdracht van Productschap Akkerbouw is door het Louis Bolk Instituut, BLGG AgroXpertus, Alterra en HLB een applicatie ontwikkeld die snel en eenvoudig per teeltrotatie de OS-balans en stikstofmineralisatie in beeld brengt.
    Sturen van de N-mineralisatie met kennis over organische stof
    Zwart, K.B. ; Wolfs, A. ; Kikkert, A. ; Termorshuizen, A. ; Burgt, G.J.H.M. van der - \ 2013
    Wijster : HLB - 11
    organische stof - stikstof - mineralisatie - bodemvruchtbaarheid - berekening - bemesting - bodembeheer - akkerbouw - organic matter - nitrogen - mineralization - soil fertility - calculation - fertilizer application - soil management - arable farming
    Stikstoflevering vanuit organische stof (OS) wordt belangrijker naarmate de bemestingsnormen strakker worden. Dit project kent drie fasen met de volgende doelen. Fase I: de bestaande kennis over organische stof en stikstofmineralisatie te ontsluiten voor zowel telers als voorlichters, Fase II: een functioneel ontwerp van een adviesmodule op te leveren waarmee de stikstofbenutting vanuit de bodem kan worden gekwantificeerd bij diverse managementmaatregelen rond organische stof. Gedurende het project is besloten om dit te wijzigen in een werkende module. Fase III: de opgeleverde adviesmodule te testen in de praktijk op een viertal locaties en te demonstreren op een 20-tal praktijkbedrijven.
    De organische stof balans met de te verwachten stikstoflevering per teeltrotatie : opzet en gebruikswijze van een rekenmodule
    Zwart, K.B. ; Wolfs, A. ; Kikkert, A. ; Termorshuizen, A. ; Burgt, G.J.H.M. van der - \ 2013
    Wijster : HLB - 17
    organische stof - stikstof - mineralisatie - berekening - bodembeheer - bodemvruchtbaarheid - akkerbouw - organic matter - nitrogen - mineralization - calculation - soil management - soil fertility - arable farming
    Organische stof speelt een hoofdrol in de vruchtbaarheid van de bodem. In opdracht van Productschap Akkerbouw is door het Louis Bolk Instituut, BLGG AgroXpertus, Alterra en HLB een applicatie ontwikkeld die snel en eenvoudig per teeltrotatie de organische stofbalans en stikstofmineralisatie in beeld brengt. In dit rapport wordt de opzet en de gebruikswijze van de applicatie kort uiteengezet.
    Sturen van de N-mineralisatie met kennis over organische stof
    Zwart, K.B. ; Kikkert, A. ; Wolfs, A. ; Termorshuizen, A. ; Burgt, G.J.H.M. van der - \ 2013
    Kennisakker.nl 2013 (2013)18 juli.
    akkerbouw - bemesting - stikstof - mineralisatie - organische stof - arable farming - fertilizer application - nitrogen - mineralization - organic matter
    Doordat gebruiksnormen de maximale bemesting met stikstof bepalen, wordt het steeds belangrijker om goed te kunnen voorspellen hoeveel stikstof de bodem levert. Wanneer de voorspelbaarheid hoog is, kan maximaal rekening worden gehouden met de levering van stikstof uit de bodem, wat kosten bespaart en uitspoeling van N reduceert.
    Soil biota and nitrogen cycling in production grasslands with different fertilisation histories
    Rashid, M.I. - \ 2013
    Wageningen University. Promotor(en): Lijbert Brussaard, co-promotor(en): Egbert Lantinga; Ron de Goede. - S.l. : s.n. - ISBN 9789461735485 - 192
    stikstofkringloop - bodemfauna - mineralisatie - rundveemest - decompositie - bodeminvertebraten - bodem ph - aardwormen - graslanden - bodembiologie - nitrogen cycle - soil fauna - mineralization - cattle manure - decomposition - soil invertebrates - soil ph - earthworms - grasslands - soil biology
    Home field advantage of cattle manure decomposition affects the apparent nitrogen recovery in production grasslands
    Rashid, M.I. ; Goede, R.G.M. de; Brussaard, L. ; Lantinga, E.A. - \ 2013
    Soil Biology and Biochemistry 57 (2013). - ISSN 0038-0717 - p. 320 - 326.
    leaf-litter decomposition - on-farm experiments - soil - quality - mineralization - community - forest - plant - fertilizers - management
    Based on evidence from forest ecosystems that litter decomposition is highest in its home habitat, the so-called home field advantage (HFA), we tested whether HFA also occurs in production grasslands, to which solid cattle manure (SCM) was applied. Two dairy farms were selected which differed in type of home-produced SCM (stacked or composted) and soil type (sand or peat). Disappearance patterns of manure dry matter (DM) and nitrogen (N) were monitored from litterbags (4 mm mesh size) during the grass growing season. At the same time, apparent herbage N recovery (ANR) of SCM, applied at two rates (200 and 400 kg N ha-1 yr-1), was measured. On average, manure DM and N disappearances on the home farms were 20 and 14% greater, respectively, than on away farms. Differences in ANR were also very pronounced (on average 14 and 53% higher at home than away for the two respective application rates). The two SCM types were also studied on two neighbouring dairy farms (one on sand and one on peat soil) where no SCM had been applied for many years. Here, manure DM and N disappearances from the litterbags were much lower (P <0.01). This experiment provides strong evidence for a home field advantage in production grasslands differing in fertilization history, showing that site-specific manure management affects the soil–plant interactions regulating plant N-availability. These findings have to be taken into account when changing fertilization regimes in production grasslands. This is the first report to quantify a HFA from an agricultural ecosystem. HFA values we report here have not been established in any ecosystem thus far.
    Strategies to reduce losses and improve utilisation of nitrogen from solid cattle manure
    Shah, G.M. - \ 2013
    Wageningen University. Promotor(en): Oene Oenema, co-promotor(en): Egbert Lantinga; Jeroen Groot. - S.l. : s.n. - ISBN 9789461735188 - 156
    stikstof - dierlijke meststoffen - ammoniakemissie - mineralisatie - stikstofverliezen - stikstofbalans - bodem - uitspoelen - rundveemest - opslag - voedingsstoffenbeschikbaarheid - nitrogen - animal manures - ammonia emission - mineralization - nitrogen losses - nitrogen balance - soil - leaching - cattle manure - storage - nutrient availability

    Background and objectives

    The number of domesticated cattle in the world has steadily increased during the last decades, and thereby also the amount of manure produced annually. The excrements of grazing cattle are dropped in pastures and left unmanaged, but that of confined and housed cattle are collected and managed. The collected manure is often a variable mixture of urine, faeces, bedding material and spoiled feed and (drinking) water. On most modern farms, excrements are usually collected in leak-tight storages and handled as slurry: a mixture of urine, faeces and spoiled water. However, on a significant fraction of farms, cattle excrements are ‘source-separated’ in a liquid fraction and a solid fraction. The solid cattle manure (SCM) is usually a mixture of faeces and bedding material with some absorbed urine. The production of SCM is increasing due to the renewed interest in straw-based housing systems for better animal health and welfare. It has been observed that a significant loss of N can occur, especially from the storage and application phases of the SCM management chain. This N loss pollutes the air, groundwater and surface waters, and also reduces its N fertiliser value. Thus the challenge is to develop an effective SCM management system that retains as much of the excreted N in the system as possible, and thereby improving on-farm N cycling through the cattle-manure-soil-crop continuum (Chapter 1). Themain objective of this PhD thesis research was to increase the understanding of the factors controlling N losses during storage and after field application, and to develop and test strategies to decrease N losses and improve crop utilisation of N from SCM. The specific objectives were:

    To study the interactions between a number of animal manures and soil types on N mineralisation and plant N recovery (Chapter 2) To investigate the effects of storage conditions on (i) magnitude and pathways of C and N losses during storage of SCM, and (ii) crop apparent N recovery (ANR) and DM yield (Chapter 3) To examine manure disappearance rates, N release pattern and herbage ANR during the year of application and the year thereafter from surface applied SCM subjected to different storage conditions (Chapter 4), and To analyse the effect of various application strategies on NH3 emission and/or crop ANR from applied SCM to grassland and arable (maize) land (Chapters 3 and 5)

    To pursue these objectives a pot experiment in a glasshouse (Chapter 2) and a number of field experiments (Chapters 3 to 5) were conducted on experimental facilities of Wageningen University, the Netherlands. The pot experiment dealt with net N mineralisation and herbage ANR from SCM, cattle slurry and poultry manure, all applied to peat, sandy and clay soils. The field experiments examined (i) total C and N losses from stockpiled, composted, covered and roofed SCM heaps, (ii) manure decomposition, N release and herbage ANR after surface application of fresh and stored SCM on grassland, and (iii) the effects of irrigation and soil incorporation after SCM application, and lava meal as an additive on NH3 emission and/or crop ANR by grassland herbage or arable maize.

    Major findings of the thesis

    Results of the pot experiment showed that net N mineralisation and herbage ANR varied as function of manure storage method and soil type. Irrespective of the manure types, net N mineralisation and herbage ANR were highest in peat soil, which was characterised by the greatest N delivering capacity. Between the clay and sandy soils, both having similar N delivering capacity, net N mineralisation and herbage ANR were lower in the clay soil than in the sandy soil, likely because of immobilisation and fixation of ammonium-N by its inherited higher clay content. On each soil type,ANR was lower from SCM than cattle slurry and poultry manure(Chapter 2). The N recovery fraction was low when SCM was stored traditionally (i.e. stockpiling or composting) due to (i) loss of the initial mineral N content and readily degradable organic N compounds, and (ii) conversion of part of the remaining N into more stable forms as compared to that originally present before storage. Up to 31% of the initial total N from the stockpiled and 46% from the composted SCM heaps were lost during a period of about four months. Covering and roofing of SCM heaps reduced the losses down to 6 and 12%, respectively. Of the total N losses from each storage method, only about one fourth could be traced back as NH3-N and N2O-N emissions, and/or N leaching. The remainder could not be accounted for and constituted, in all probability, of harmless N2 gas. Of the total measured gaseous and liquid N losses together, N leaching contributed the most. The leaching N losses were reduced by almost three times through protection of SCM heap against precipitation either by its covering or roofing when compared to its stockpiling or composting in the open air. Although stockpiling of SCM under a roof significantly reduced overall total N losses, NH3 and N2O emissions were much higher as compared to stockpiling of SCM in the open air. Composting of SCM resulted in higher gaseous N emissions as well as N leaching with respect to the other storage methods. In view of these finding I conclude that covering of SCM heaps with an impermeable sheet is the best option to reduce storage N losses (Chapters 3 and 4).

    In addition, because of N conservation and slow mineralisation of the organically bound N during the covered storage, mineral N content of SCM increased at the end of the storage phase. This, together with high mineralisation activities after field application of covered SCM, led to greater crop ANR and DM yield especially when compared to composted SCM, both in the year of application and in the subsequent year. When N losses during storage was taken into account to arrive at the crop ANR of the collected manure from the barn, it turned out that the ANR value was about three times larger in case of covered storage compared to composting of SCM, both for grassland (21 vs. 7%; Chapter 4) and arable land (37 vs. 13%, Chapter 3). Interestingly, despite of some N losses during covered storage (~10% of the initial N), crop ANR and DM yield were significantly larger from covered than fresh SCM taken directly from the barn, again in both situations.

    Irrigation immediately after SCM spreading and use of lava meal as an additive significantly (i) reduced NH3 emission and (ii) improved crop ANR as well as DM yield (Chapters 3 and 5).Irrigation at a level of 5 mm immediately after surface application of fresh and covered SCM to grassland reduced NH3 emission by 30 and 65%, respectively, whereas it was not effective in case of composted SCM, likely because of its greater DM content. Addition of lava meal before application at a rate of 80 g per kg of covered SCM resulted in an emission reduction of 46%. By combining it with 10 mm irrigation, an almost 100% reduction in NH3 emissions from covered SCM was realised, whereas herbage ANR increased from 18 to 26% of the applied N over a growing period of five months (Chapter 5). Incorporation of SCM just before sowing of maize resulted in an ANR value of 39% from covered SCM, whereas this fraction was 20, 29 and 31% in case of composted, stockpiled and roofed manure, respectively (Chapter 3).

    Overall conclusions

    The ANR from applied manure in harvested herbage depends on manure type and soil type, and varies widely. It is lower from SCM than from cattle slurry Total N losses during storage of SCM can be reduced remarkably by covering the heap with an impermeable sheet. Covering reduced two N loss pathways: (i) gaseous N emissions to air, and (ii) N leaching to surface waters and groundwater. Field application of SCM that was covered by a sheet during storage, decomposed faster and more N was available for plant uptake, both in the year of application and the subsequent year, when compared to SCM that was stored in traditional ways Emission of NH3 following land application of SCM can be reduced greatly by irrigation or incorporation immediately after SCM spreading, and using lava meal as an additive. Irrigation appeared to be more effective in reducing NH3 emission than the addition of lava meal. All these NH3 emission abatement measures substantially increased crop ANR and DM yield Overall, combining covered storage with either direct irrigation following application of SCM to vegetated soil or direct incorporation in the soil following application of SCM to arable land is the best practical option to reduce losses and improve utilisation of N from SCM management systems. Depending on the farm infrastructure, losses may be further reduced by the use of lava meal, preferably as a bedding additive in the barn

    Implication for efficient manure management

    In many industrialised countries, animal manure is a major source of environmental pollution. In contrast, in most of the developing countries animal manure is considered as a key nutrient source to maintain or improve crop productivity and therefore N losses from manure management are more seen as ‘loss of plant nutrient’ rather than ‘pollution problems’. In either case development of efficient SCM management systems is highly important. Based on the results of this thesis, I propose some key management actions to improve the agro-environmental value of SCM.

    If economically attractive, apply lava meal to straw bedding in the barn (Chapter 5) Store the barn-produced SCM under impermeable sheet (Chapters 3 and 4) Crop and soil-specific SCM application rates must take into account the potential available N (Chapter 2) and degradability of organic N compounds (Chapter 4) Incorporate the SCM from covered storages directly into the soil when applied to arable land (Chapter 3) In situations where incorporation is not feasible, like on grassland, spread SCM just before a predicted rainfall event or apply irrigation otherwise (Chapter 5) Take into account the expected residual N contribution from earlier manure input when determining the manure application rate(Chapter 4)
    A simple and effective method to keep earthworms confined to open-top mesocosms
    Lubbers, I.M. ; Groenigen, J.W. van - \ 2013
    Applied Soil Ecology 64 (2013). - ISSN 0929-1393 - p. 190 - 193.
    nitrous-oxide - forest soil - organic-carbon - n2o emission - mineralization - decomposition - mobilization - grassland - savigny - residue
    Earthworms can have a profound effect on a myriad of soil physical, chemical and microbial parameters. To better understand their role in the soil, they are often studied under controlled conditions. However, a persistent problem in such controlled experiments is the ability of earthworms to escape from experimental units with open tops (e.g. for plant growth). Here, we tested whether adhesive hook tape applied to the inside of mesocosms is effective in confining them to their experimental units. A mesocosm study was set up with hook tape treatments (control, one layer, two layers), mesocosm material (polyvinylchloride – PVC, polypropylene – PP) and earthworm species (Lumbricus rubellus (Hoffmeister), Aporrectodea caliginosa (Savigny), Lumbricus terrestris (L.) + Aporrectodea longa (Ude)) as different factors to study the escape of earthworms during 24 h. In the treatments without hook tape, individuals of L. rubellus and A. caliginosa escaped, with highest escape rates (80%) for L. rubellus from the PP mesocosms, and lowest escape rates (20%) for A. caliginosa from the PVC mesocosms. When hook tape was applied, in either one or two layers, no individuals of those species escaped. The two anecic earthworm species, L. terrestris and A. longa did not escape from any mesocosms, irrespective of the presence of hook tape. As not a single earthworm escaped from the hook tape treatments, we conclude that applying hook tape is a simple, inexpensive and effective method to keep earthworms confined to experimental units.
    Effects of plant species identity, diversity and soil fertility on biodegradation of phenanthrene in soil
    Oyelami, A.O. ; Okere, U.V. ; Orwin, K. ; Deyn, G.B. de; Jones, K.C. ; Semple, K.T. - \ 2013
    Environmental Pollution 173 (2013). - ISSN 0269-7491 - p. 231 - 237.
    polycyclic aromatic-hydrocarbons - volatile organic-compounds - microbial communities - grassland communities - contact time - rhizosphere - bioavailability - mineralization - pahs - microorganisms
    The work presented in this paper investigated the effects of plant species composition, species diversity and soil fertility on biodegradation of 14C-phenanthrene in soil. The two soils used were of contrasting fertility, taken from long term unfertilised and fertilised grassland, showing differences in total nitrogen content (%N). Plant communities consisted of six different plant species: two grasses, two forbs, and two legume species, and ranged in species richness from 1 to 6. The degradation of 14C-phenanthrene was evaluated by measuring indigenous catabolic activity following the addition of the contaminant to soil using respirometry. Soil fertility was a driving factor in all aspects of 14C-phenanthrene degradation; lag phase, maximum rates and total extents of 14C-phenanthrene mineralisation were higher in improved soils compared to unimproved soils. Plant identity had a significant effect on the lag phase and extents of mineralisation. Soil fertility was the major influence also on abundance of microbial communities.
    Effect of fertilization history on short-term emission of CO2 and N2O after the application of different N fertilizers - a laboratory study
    Jäger, N. ; Duffner, A. ; Ludwig, B. ; Flessa, H. - \ 2013
    Archives of Agronomy and Soil Science 59 (2013)2. - ISSN 0365-0340 - p. 161 - 171.
    nitrous-oxide emissions - cattle slurry - carbon sequestration - animal manures - organic c - c-13 nmr - soil - denitrification - climate - mineralization
    Increasing organic carbon (OC) stocks in soils reduce atmospheric CO2, but may also cause enhanced N2O emissions. The objective of this study was to determine whether there are any differences in N2O and CO2 emissions from sandy arable soils with different soil OC and total nitrogen stocks due to the annual application of either farmyard manure (S-FYM) or mineral fertilizer (S-MIN) over 27 years. A laboratory incubation was performed to test the short-term effects of the application of different fertilizers [farmyard manure (FYM), KNO3 (MIN) and biogas waste (BW)] on N2O and CO2 emissions. The CO2 emission rates indicated that OC availability in the soil was higher after BW application than after FYM application. N2O emission for 53 days following fertilizer application amounted to 0.01% (MIN), 0.21% (FYM) and 24% (BW) of the total amount of N applied. The high emissions induced by BW were attributed to the combination of a high availability of OC and ammonium in the fermented waste. Fertilization history, which caused higher soil OC stocks in S-FYM, did not influence N2O emissions. The results suggest that characterization of C and N pools in organic fertilizers is required to assess their impact on N2O emissions.
    Seasonal nitrogen budgets of mature citrus trees on a sandy entisol
    Morgan, K. ; Scholberg, J.M.S. ; Obreza, T. ; Wheaton, T. - \ 2012
    Journal of Plant Nutrition 35 (2012)13. - ISSN 0190-4167 - p. 2009 - 2023.
    uptake efficiency - leaching losses - soil - irrigation - mineralization - fertilization - management - sorghum - young - corn
    Approximately 30% of Florida citrus is grown on well-drained Entisols with low nutrient-holding capacity, which are prone to high nitrogen (N) leaching losses. However, increasing application frequency of N-fertilizer via multiple fertigations does not increase crop yield, whereas in agronomic crops, such an approach typically enhances N uptake efficiency. We assessed seasonal tree N tissue concentration dynamics as affected by N rate for mature fourteen-year-old 'Hamlin' orange (Citrus sinensis L. Osbeck) trees on either Carrizo citrange (C. sinsensis L. Osbeck X Poncirus trifoliata L. Raf.) or Swingle citrumelo (C. paradisi Macf. X P. trifoliata L. Raf.) rootstocks. Nitrogen was applied as ammonium nitrate in six split fertigation applications with N target values of 179 and 269 kg ha(-1)yr(-1). Leaf, twig, and branch bark tissue N concentrations decreased through the spring to minima in May and June. This time period corresponds to a period of high N demand associated with both vegetative and reproductive growth. Tissue N concentrations increased from late spring minimums to fall and winter maximum concentrations. Reduction in branch bark and wood tissue N concentrations may have been due to a redistribution of N to leaf, twig, and fruit tissues in response to low N supply. The majority of the spring N should be supplied prior to May.
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