Nutrient Cycling in Agroecosystems

, Volume 47, Issue 2, pp 157–165 | Cite as

Studies on the relationship between slurry pH, volatilization processes and the influence of acidifying additives

  • Robert Vandré
  • Joachim Clemens


The mutual influence of slurry pH and volatilization processes on one hand, and the possibility of N conservation by the use of acidifying additives on the other, were investigated in static incubation experiments. The influence of the NH3 and CO2 volatilizations on slurry pH was studied by selectively supporting one or both processes. The addition of Ca2+ to slurry was compared to that of K+ and H+. The effects of Cl, SO42− and NO3 as corresponding anions of Ca2+ on slurry pH as well as NH3 and N2O emissions were tested. The slurry pH (7.4) increased during incubation. When CO2 volatilization was suppressed, the pH increase was reduced, and NH3 volatilization was cut down by 50%. Ca2+ additions hardly influenced the initial slurry pH, but reduced the pH increases and NH3 losses. Proton addition, in contrast, decreased slurry pH but did not decrease the subsequent pH rise. K+ had no effect on slurry pH and N losses. As compared to CaCl2, CaSO4 showed less effect on slurry pH and N losses. Ca(NO3)2 was nearly as effective as CaCl2 in preventing NH3 volatilization, but caused denitrification losses and elevated N2O production. Titration curves of the different slurry treatments were used to interpret the results of the incubation experiments. In a microplot field experiment the NH3 volatilization and slurry pH after surface application of slurry was measured. The acidifying and N conserving effects of Ca2+ and H+ additions were confirmed.

Key words

acidifying additives ammonia volatilization cattle slurry nitrous oxide slurry pH 


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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1997

Authors and Affiliations

  • Robert Vandré
    • 1
  • Joachim Clemens
    • 2
  1. 1.Institute of Soil ScienceUniversity of BayreuthBayreuthGermany
  2. 2.Department of AgroecologyUniversity of BayreuthBayreuthGermany

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