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Título

Apparent availability of nitrogen in composted municipal refuse

AutorIglesias-Jiménez, Emeterio; Álvarez, Carlos Enrique
Palabras claveCompost
N-mineralization
Organic N
Plant N uptake
Soil N availability
N-immobilization
Fecha de publicación1993
EditorSpringer
CitaciónBiology and Fertility of Soils 16: 313-318 (1993)
ResumenThe use of compostested municipal refuse on agricultural land requires prior knowledge of the interactions among compost, soil, and plants. Research into the availability of N in highly matured municipal refuse compost is particularly important considering the current concern about groundwater contamination by NO$- N. A greehouse pot bioassay was conducted to determine the percentage of short-term apparent bioavailable N of a highly matured refuse compost and its relative efficiency in supplying inorganic N to the soil-plant system in comparison with NH$NO$. Municipal refuse (after 165 days of composting) was applied at rates equivalent to 10, 20, 30, 40, and 50 t ha ' to a ferrallitic soil from Tenerife Island (Andeptic Paludult). NH$NO$ was applied at rates equivalent to the total N content of the compost treatments. Perennial ryegrass (Lolium perenne L.) was grown in 3-kg pots and the tops were harvested at regular intervals after seedling emergence. The compost increased dry matter yield, soil mineral N, and plant N uptake proportional to the applied rate. These increases were significantly higher than the control at an application rate of 20 t ha '. After 6 months the apparent bioavailable N ranged from 16 to 21%. The relative efficiency was 43% after 30 days. This suggets that large inputs of inorganic N into soil can be obtained with high rates of this kind of compost, with a potential for NO$-N contamination. However, applied at moderate rates in our bioassay (<50 t ha'), compost showed a low N-supplying capacity to ryegrass, i.e. a small fraction of the mineralized compost N was used by plants in the course of time. This was ascribed to a partial biological innobilization. This pattern of N availability in highly matured municipal refuse compost, positive net mineralization but partial immobilization, is similar to the pattern of N availability in biologically active soils and is therefore extremely interesting for the conservation of N in agro-ecosystems.
URIhttp://hdl.handle.net/10261/21308
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