Measured and simulated Nitrogen fluxes after field application of food-processing and municipal organic wastes

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The aims of this study were to (i) assess N fluxes (mineralization, volatilization, denitrification, leaching) caused by spreading various organic wastes from food-processing industries during a field experiment, and (ii) to identify the main factors affecting N transformation processes after field spreading. Experimental treatments including the spreading of six types of waste and a control soil were set up in August 2000 and studied for 22 mo under bare soil conditions. Ammonia and nitrous oxide emissions, and nitrogen mineralization were measured in experimental devices and extrapolated to field conditions or computed in calculation models. The ammonia emissions varied from 80 to 580 g kg–1 NH4+–N applied, representing 0 to 90 g N kg–1 total N applied. Under these meteorologically favorable conditions (dry and warm weather), waste pH was the main factor affecting volatilization rates. Cumulated N2O–N fluxes were estimated at 2 to 5 g kg–1 total N applied, which was quite low due to the low soil water content during the experimental period; water-filled pore space (WFPS) was confirmed as the main factor affecting N2O fluxes. Nitrogen mineralization from wastes represented 126 to 723 g N kg–1 organic N added from the incorporation date to 14 May 2001 and was not related to the organic C to organic N ratio of wastes. Nitrogen lost by leaching during the equivalent period ranged from 30 to 890 g kg–1 total N applied. The highest values were obtained for wastes having the highest inorganic N content and mineralization rates.

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