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Use of a layered double hydroxide (LDH) to buffer nitrate in soil: long-term nitrate exchange properties under cropping and fallow conditions

Abstract

The potential use of a layered double hydroxide (LDH) to act as a nitrate buffer system in soil in order to reduce the movement of nitrate was investigated. Long-term plant and soil experiments were carried out under greenhouse conditions with the following objectives: (i) evaluate the nitrate adsorption capacity of the LDH during crop growth, and its influence on N uptake, (ii) study the ability of the LDH to adsorb nitrate mineralized during fallow periods, and its influence on nitrate leaching, (iii) evaluate the reversibility for nitrate exchange of the LDH under cultivation conditions, and (iv) determine the nitrate buffer capacity of the soil after LDH application. The LDH adsorbed nitrate from the soil solution during the growth period without affecting plant N uptake. As a result of the adsorption of nitrate on the LDH, the nitrate-N concentration in the soil solution at harvest was reduced by a factor of ten compared to a soil without LDH. The LDH efficiently adsorbed nitrate that was mineralized in the soil during periods without cultivation, reduced nitrate-N leaching losses by about 80%, and kept this nitrate available for a following crop. The nitrate buffer capacity of the soil after 15months increased from 0.3 (without LDH) to 2.7 with the application of 10g LDH kg−1 soil. It is concluded that the LDH has a potential to be used as a long-term nitrate exchanger to control the movement of nitrate in soil, and thereby reduce risks of nitrate leaching in crop production in sensible areas.

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Correspondence to Luis Omar Torres-Dorante.

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Torres-Dorante, L.O., Lammel, J. & Kuhlmann, H. Use of a layered double hydroxide (LDH) to buffer nitrate in soil: long-term nitrate exchange properties under cropping and fallow conditions. Plant Soil 315, 257–272 (2009). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11104-008-9748-4

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Keywords

  • Anion exchange
  • Anionic clay mineral
  • Ion exchanger
  • Nitrogen fertilization
  • Nitrate leaching