Biology and Fertility of Soils

, Volume 53, Issue 8, pp 837–848 | Cite as

Nitrogen sequestration under long-term paddy management in soils developed on contrasting parent material

  • M. Houtermans
  • E. Lehndorff
  • S. R. Utami
  • D. Said-Pullicino
  • M. Romani
  • A. Kölbl
  • K. Kaiser
  • Z. H. Cao
  • W. Amelung
Original Paper


Long-term paddy management promotes nitrogen (N) sequestration, but it is unknown to what extent the properties of the parent soil modify the management-induced N sequestration in peptide-bound amino acids (AA-N). We hypothesized that paddy management effects on the storage of AA-N relate to the mineral assembly. Hence, we determined contents and chirality of peptide-bound amino acids in paddy soils developed on contrasting parent material (Vertisols, Andosols, Alisols in Indonesia, Alisols in China, and Gleysol/Fluvisol in Italy). Adjacent non-paddy soils served as references. Selected samples were pre-extracted with dithionite–citrate–bicarbonate (DCB) to better understand the role of reactive oxide phases in AA-N storage, origin, and composition. The results showed that topsoil N and AA-N stocks were significantly larger in paddy-managed Andosols and Chinese Alisols than in their non-paddy counterparts. In other soils, however, paddy management did not cause higher proportions of N and AA-N, possibly because N fixing intercrops masked the paddy management effects on N sequestration processes. Among the different soils developed on contrasting parent material, AA-N stocks were largest in Andosols, followed by Alisols and Fluvisols, and lowest in Vertisols. The N storage in amino acid forms went along with elevated d-contents of bacteria-derived alanine and glutamic acid, as well as with increasing stocks of DCB-extractable Fe, Mn, and Al. Other d-amino acids, likely formed by racemization processes, did not vary systematically between paddy and non-paddy managed soils. Our data suggest that the presence of oxides increase the N sequestration in peptide-bound amino acids after microbial N transformations.


Amino acid enantiomers Nitrogen Paddy soils Pedogenic oxides Aluminum Iron 



We thank the Faculty of Agriculture, Brawijaya University, Indonesia; the Rice Research Centre, Castello d’Agogna, Italy; and the Chinese Academy of Sciences, Nanjing, for organizing and supporting sampling campaigns. Furthermore, we thank Robert Banks and Matthias Lebert for finding appropriate sampling sites in Indonesia and Peter Schad, Pauline Winkler, Dewo Ringgih, Urs Dieterich, and Susanne Drechsler for their support during sampling. Sarah Neises is thanked for analytical help. We are grateful to the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG) (FOR 995) for their generous funding of Research Unit FOR 995 “Biogeochemistry of paddy soil evolution.”

Supplementary material

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Table S1 (DOCX 31 kb)
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Figure S1 (DOCX 36 kb)
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Figure S2 (DOCX 245 kb)
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Figure S3 (DOCX 117 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • M. Houtermans
    • 1
  • E. Lehndorff
    • 1
  • S. R. Utami
    • 2
  • D. Said-Pullicino
    • 3
  • M. Romani
    • 4
  • A. Kölbl
    • 5
  • K. Kaiser
    • 6
  • Z. H. Cao
    • 7
  • W. Amelung
    • 1
  1. 1.Institute of Crop Science and Resource Conservation (INRES) - Soil Science & Soil EcologyBonn UniversityBonnGermany
  2. 2.Faculty of AgricultureBrawijaya UniversityMalangIndonesia
  3. 3.Soil Biogeochemistry, Department of Agricultural, Forest and Food SciencesUniversity of TorinoGrugliascoItaly
  4. 4.Rice Research Centre, Ente Nazionale RisiCastello d’AgognaItaly
  5. 5.Chair for Soil Science, Department Ecology and Ecosystem ManagementTechnische Universität MünchenFreising-WeihenstephanGermany
  6. 6.Soil Science and Soil ProtectionMartin Luther University Halle-WittenbergHalle (Saale)Germany
  7. 7.The Institute of Soil ScienceCAS Chinese Academy of SciencesNanjingPeople’s Republic of China

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