, Volume 63, Issue 2, pp 135–160 | Cite as

Effects of management practices on annual net N-mineralization in a restored prairie and maize agroecosystems

  • K.R. Brye
  • J.M. Norman
  • S.T. Gower
  • L.G. Bundy


Nitrogen (N) mineralization is a spatially variable and difficult component of the N cycle to quantify accurately under field conditions. Net N-mineralization was compared by direct measurement, indirect estimate, and laboratory incubation for a restored tallgrass prairie and for deficiently and optimally N-fertilized, no-tillage (NT) and chisel-plowed (CP) maize (Zea mays L.) agroecosystems on Plano silt loam soil (fine-silty, mixed, superactive, mesic Typic Argiudoll) in Wisconsin, USA. Four years of in-situ field measurements using an incubated-soil-core/ion-exchange-resin-bag technique showed that land use significantly affected net N-mineralization. Net N-mineralization was consistently smaller in the restored prairie than in the maize agroecosystems and typically larger in the CP than in the NT maize agroecosystems. Three independent methods for indirectly estimating annual net N-mineralization (i.e., N budget residual, deficiently N-fertilized plant N uptake, and profile-scaled in-situ field measurements) were relatively consistent at capturing land-use and tillage effects on net N-mineralization. Laboratory incubation and periodic leaching of Fall-sampled soils demonstrated that both mineralized N and labile C were co-limiting factors influencing N-mineralization in agricultural soils and generally supported field measurements by showing a significant difference in net N-mineralization with and without added fertilizer-N.

Agroecosystems Carbon Mineralization Nitrogen Restored prairie Wisconsin 


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© Kluwer Academic Publishers 2003

Authors and Affiliations

  • K.R. Brye
  • J.M. Norman
  • S.T. Gower
  • L.G. Bundy

There are no affiliations available

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