Paddy and Water Environment

, Volume 13, Issue 4, pp 545–556 | Cite as

Uptake efficiency of 15N-urea in flooded and aerobic rice fields under semi-arid conditions

  • M. D. M. Kadiyala
  • R. S. Mylavarapu
  • Y. C. Li
  • G. B. Reddy
  • K. R. Reddy
  • M. D. Reddy


The sustainability of traditional rice (Oryza sativa L.) cultivation in many Asian countries is being questioned due to severe water shortage conditions, envisaging the need for development of water-saving rice production technologies. A 2-year-field study on a typic Haplustalf soil was conducted to compare traditional transplanted rice–maize system with water-saving aerobic rice–maize system, with an overall objective of investigating the fate of fertilizer nitrogen (N) using 15N-labeled urea. Results from the field experiments showed that the rice plants positively responded to N fertilizer application. The average fertilizer N recovery by rice crop over the 2 years in aerobic rice was 26 kg per 100 kg of applied fertilizer N in the main field and 21 kg per 100 kg of applied N in the microplot, while the recoveries were 41 and 32 kg ha−1 per 100 kg of applied N in traditionally cultivated rice under flooded conditions. The fraction of 15N that was found in soil after the harvest of rice crop ranged from 11.4 to 47.1 kg ha−1 in aerobic rice and 14.2–51.4 kg ha−1 in flooded rice. Average recovery of 15N fertilizer in maize after the first growing season was 3.3 %, and the corresponding recovery in soil was 19 %. An additional 1.3 % of the fertilizer was recovered by crops during the two subsequent seasons. This study indicates the need to develop management practices that improve N use efficiency in aerobic rice by reducing losses to improve yields and reduce N export to the environment.


Aerobic rice 15N-labeled nitrogen Nitrogen use efficiency Residual N 


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Copyright information

© The International Society of Paddy and Water Environment Engineering and Springer Japan 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • M. D. M. Kadiyala
    • 1
  • R. S. Mylavarapu
    • 2
  • Y. C. Li
    • 2
  • G. B. Reddy
    • 3
  • K. R. Reddy
    • 2
  • M. D. Reddy
    • 4
  1. 1.International Crops Research Institute for Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT)HyderabadIndia
  2. 2.Soil and Water Science DepartmentUniversity of FloridaGainesvilleUSA
  3. 3.Department of Natural Resources & Environmental DesignNorth Carolina A&T State UniversityGreensboroUSA
  4. 4.Water Technology CenterANGR Agricultural UniversityHyderabadIndia

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