Biology and Fertility of Soils

, Volume 15, Issue 4, pp 285–293 | Cite as

The release and plant uptake of nitrogen from some plant and animal manures

  • R. M. Rees
  • L. Yan
  • M. Ferguson


Field and laboratory experiments were used to examine the efficiency of N uptake from various manure forms, and at different rates of application. In a field experiment, wheat was grown on soils with different amounts of 15N-labelled legume residues. The amount of N taken up by the crop was directly proportional to the amount applied, with a recovery of between 15% and 23% of the legume N. In a second field experiment, inorganic N was applied at rates varying from 0 to 120 kg N ha-1 in the presence and absence of poultry manure. The uptake of N by barley was 11 kg ha-1 greater in the manured plots when no inorganic N was applied, and 23 kg ha-1 greater when N was applied at the top rate. N uptake in a pot experiment was again shown to be directly proportional to the rate of manure application, but the amount of N taken up was strongly related to the N content of the manure. An incubation experiment demonstrated that net N mineralisation reached a maximum where residue concentrations were 1,5%. The significance of added nitrogen interactions in the context of manure-N additions is discussed.

Key words

Manures N mineralisation N uptake 15Added nitrogen interactions Priming effect 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1993

Authors and Affiliations

  • R. M. Rees
    • 1
  • L. Yan
    • 2
  • M. Ferguson
    • 3
  1. 1.The Edinburgh School of AgricultureScottish Agricultural College-EdinburghEdinburghUK
  2. 2.Beijing Agricultural UniversityBeijingChina
  3. 3.University of EdinburghEdinburghUK

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