Plant and Soil

, Volume 162, Issue 1, pp 31–37 | Cite as

Labelling of animal manure nitrogen with15N

  • P. Sørensen
  • E. S. Jensen
  • N. E. Nielsen


A sheep was fed on15N-labelled ryegrass hay during a period of 9 days in order to obtain15N-labelled manure. After 9 days of feeding, the total N in faeces contained 3.70 atom %15N excess, which was equivalent to 82% of the15N enrichment of the hay N. The easily-decomposable fraction of the faecal N was less labelled (2.89 atom %15N excess) than the slowly-decomposable fraction. The15N enrichment of mineralized faecal N did not change significantly during 32 weeks of incubation in sand. About 25% of the faecal N was water-soluble. This N had a higher15N enrichment than the total faecal N, indicating that a part of the water-soluble N was indigestible feed N. The faeces contained only small amounts of NH4+-N, which had a15N enrichment similar to the15N enrichment of N mineralized during incubation in sand. It is suggested that the labelled faecal N obtained after a few days of feeding on labelled feed could be divided in two N pools: A decomposable N fraction (about 60%) with a15N enrichment similar to the enrichment of N mineralized in sand (2.89 ± 0.09 atom %15N excess), and a very slowly-decomposable N fraction (about 40%) with a15N enrichment similar to that of the feed (4.52 atom %15N excess).

Key words

homogeneity of labelling mineralization mobile nylon bag ryegrass hay sheep manure water-soluble N 


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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1994

Authors and Affiliations

  • P. Sørensen
    • 1
  • E. S. Jensen
    • 1
  • N. E. Nielsen
    • 2
  1. 1.Plant Biology Section, Environmental Science and Technology DepartmentRisø National LaboratoryRoskildeDenmark
  2. 2.Section of Soil, Water and Plant Nutrition, Department of Agricultural SciencesThe Royal Veterinary and Agricultural UniversityFrederiksberg CDenmark

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