Nitrogen Removal by Orchardgrass and Smooth Bromegrass and Residual Soil Nitrate

Author: Singer, J.W.; Moore, K.J.

Description: Nitrogen removal by cool-season grasses may aid in capturing excess N from animal confinement operations or phytoremediation. Limited information exists on the N dynamics of these grasses near the asymptote of the N response curve. The objectives of this study were to evaluate N removal, residual soil NO3–N, and apparent N recovery in orchardgrass (Dactylis glomerata L.) and smooth bromegrass (Bromus inermis Leyss.) at annual N rates of 224, 448, and 672 kg ha-1 Species × harvest interactions were observed in both years, but no species × N rate interactions occurred. Orchardgrass removed 352 and 505 kg N ha-1 yr-1 at the 448 N rate compared with 207 and 371 in smooth bromegrass in 1999 and 2000, respectively. In a dry year, orchardgrass (r 2 = 0.41) and smooth bromegrass (r 2 = 0.31) exhibited linear N uptake. In a year with adequate rainfall, a quadratic relationship was observed for orchardgrass (R 2 = 0.92), while smooth bromegrass had linear uptake (r 2 = 0.66). Greater N removal was observed in orchardgrass partly because of superior fall growth, when 99 and 82 kg N ha-1 were removed in 1999 and 2000 at the 448 N rate compared with 23 and 15 kg N ha-1 in smooth bromegrass. These removal rates accounted for 28 and 16% of the seasonal total in 1999 and 2000 in orchardgrass and 11 and 4% in smooth bromegrass. Orchardgrass N removal exceeded smooth bromegrass in a three-cut system, and this difference was enhanced by utilizing the fall growth period to capture residual soil N.

Subject headings: Grasses; Nitrogen; Removal

Publication year: 2003

Journal or book title: Crop Science

Volume: 43

Issue: 4

Pages: 1420-1426

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Type: Journal Article

Serial number: 632