Leaching losses of nitrate nitrogen and dissolved organic nitrogen from a yearly two crops system, wheat-maize, under monsoon situations

  • Manxiang Huang
  • Tao Liang
  • Zhu Ou-Yang
  • Lingqing Wang
  • Chaosheng Zhang
  • Chenghu Zhou
Original Article

Abstract

A large amount of nitrogen (N) fertilizers applied to the winter wheat–summer maize double cropping systems in the North China Plain (NCP) contributes largely to N leaching to the groundwater. A series of field experiments were carried out during October 2004 and September 2007 in a lysimeter field to reveal the temporal changes of N leaching losses below 2-m depth from this land system as well as the effects of N fertilizer application rates on N leaching. Four N rates (0, 180, 260, and 360 kg N ha−1 as urea) were applied in the study area. Seasonal leachate volumes were 87 and 72 mm in the first and second maize season, respectively, and 13 and 4 mm during the winter wheat and maize season in the third rotational year, respectively. The average seasonal flow-weighted NO3-N concentrations in leachate for the four N fertilizer application rates ranged from 8.1 to 103.7 mg N l−1, and seasonal flow-weighted dissolved organic nitrogen (DON) concentrations in leachate varied from 0.8 to 6.0 mg N l−1. Total amounts of NO3-N leaching lost throughout the 3 years were in the range of 14.6 to 177.8 kg ha−1 for the four N application rates, corresponding to N leaching losses in the range of 4.0–7.6% of the fertilizers applied. DON losses throughout the 3 years were 1.4, 2.1, 3.6, and 6.3 kg N ha−1 for the four corresponding fertilization rates. The application rate of 180 kg N ha−1 was recommended based on the balance between reducing N leaching and maintaining crop yields. The results indicated that there is a potential risk of N leaching during the winter wheat season, and over-fertilization of chemical N can result in substantial N leaching losses by high-intensity rainfalls in summer.

Keywords

Dissolved organic nitrogen Nitrate nitrogen Leaching losses 

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Manxiang Huang
    • 1
  • Tao Liang
    • 1
  • Zhu Ou-Yang
    • 1
  • Lingqing Wang
    • 1
  • Chaosheng Zhang
    • 2
  • Chenghu Zhou
    • 1
  1. 1.Institute of Geographic Sciences and Natural Resources ResearchChinese Academy of SciencesBeijingPeople’s Republic of China
  2. 2.Department of Geography and Environmental Change InstituteNational University of IrelandGalwayIreland

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