Plant and Soil

, Volume 115, Issue 1, pp 53–58 | Cite as

Effects of addition of calcium and magnesium salts on ammonia volatilization during manure decomposition

  • E. Witter
  • H. Kirchmann


Ammonia volatilization during aerobic decomposition of poultry manure was significantly reduced through additions of calcium and magnesium salts. The percentage reduction in ammonia loss decreased during the 48 day decomposition period from 85–100% in the first 2–3 weeks, to 23–52% at the end of the experiment. The maximum amount of ammonia which was retained (i.e. maximum reduction in ammonia loss) through addition of the chloride salts of Mg2+ or Ca2+ was independent of the type of cation. However, CaCl2 released some of the ammonia initially retained as production of CO2 and NH3 from the manure decreased after 3 weeks of decomposition, whereas both MgCl2 and MgSO4 did not release any of the initially retained ammonia over the 7 week incubation period. Over the entire incubation period MgCl2 therefore retained more ammonia than CaCl2. Magnesium sulphate was considerably less effective in retaining ammonia than either chloride salts.

Key words

ammonia volatilization calcium magnesium manure 


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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1989

Authors and Affiliations

  • E. Witter
    • 1
  • H. Kirchmann
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Soil Sciences, Division of Plant NutritionSwedish University of Agricultural SciencesUppsalaSweden

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