Biology and Fertility of Soils

, Volume 42, Issue 6, pp 501–505 | Cite as

Influence of application of rice straw, farmyard manure, and municipal biowastes on nitrogen fixation, soil microbial biomass N, and mineral N in a model paddy microcosm

  • H. Tanaka
  • K. M. Kyaw
  • K. ToyotaEmail author
  • T. Motobayashi
Original Paper


Effects of application of rice straw (RS), farmyard manure (FYM), municipal biowaste compost (MBCom), and municipal biowaste charcoal (MBCha) on soil microbial biomass N, mineral N, and nitrogen-fixing activity (NFA) of a model paddy microcosm were examined in comparison with urea fertilizer. When microcosms were added with urea, NFA decreased with increasing rates of fertilization, and it was negligible (less than 4% of the control, no urea fertilization) in the soils treated with more than 60 mg kg−1 urea–N. The addition of RS, with the highest C/N ratio among the organic wastes used, stimulated N2 fixation most effectively (40% increase compared to the control). MBCom, with the lowest C/N ratio and a comparable mineral N content to 60 mg kg−1 urea–N, decreased N2 fixation (50% decrease), but it was not markedly suppressed unlike urea. In spite of the fact that FYM contained a relatively large N, expressed as low C/N ratio, its effect on N2 fixation was small (14% decrease). FYM and MBCom did not stimulate NFA as RS did. This may be explained by the fact that N concentrations of microbial biomass N and available N were higher in the soils than in soil treated with RS. The effect of MBCha addition on N2 fixation was small (14% decrease). The present study demonstrated that organic wastes might affect N2 fixation depending upon the amount of available N in the waste-treated soils, but that organic-waste-treated soils generally support higher N2 fixation than chemical-fertilizer-treated soils.


Available nitrogen Charcoal Compost Overlying water 



The authors thank Dr. Ezawa T. and Dr. Matsumura S. for providing FYM and MBCom, respectively. A part of this study was financially supported by the TUA&T 21 Century Program (Evolution and Survival of Technology based Civilization).


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • H. Tanaka
    • 1
    • 2
  • K. M. Kyaw
    • 1
  • K. Toyota
    • 1
    Email author
  • T. Motobayashi
    • 3
  1. 1.Graduate School of Bio-Applications and Systems EngineeringTokyo University of Agriculture and Technology (TUAT)Naka, KoganeiJapan
  2. 2.Institute of Environmental Studies, Graduate School of Frontier ScienceThe University of TokyoHongo, Bunkyo-kuJapan
  3. 3.Field Science CenterTUATSaiwaiJapan

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