Plant and Soil

, Volume 76, Issue 1–3, pp 213–226

Denitrification in field soils

  • P. Colbourn
  • R. J. Dowdell
Section 4: Anaerobic Processes in Soils and Gaseous Losses of Nitrogen


Recent denitrification research is reviewed to answer questions a) how much N is lost from the soil as N2 and N2O and b) how do agronomic practices affect this loss? The methods used to quantify denitrification are also discussed. Gaseous losses of inorganic N range between the equivalent of 0 to 20 per cent of the fertilizer N applied to arable soils and 0–7 per cent on grassland soils. Losses are greater on undrained land and also after using direct drilling to establish arable crops.

Appendix 1 summarizes reported measurements of gaseous N losses.

Key words

Acetylene Arable crops Cultivation Denitrification Drainage Gas Chromatography Grassland Inorganic N fertilizer Irrigation Nitrogen Nitrous oxide 


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Copyright information

© Martinus Nijhoff/Dr W. Junk Publishers 1984

Authors and Affiliations

  • P. Colbourn
    • 1
  • R. J. Dowdell
    • 1
  1. 1.Agricultural Research Council Letcombe LaboratoryWantageUK

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