Ammonia (NH3) volatilization is a major nitrogen (N) loss from the soil, especially under tropical conditions, NH3 volatilization results in low N use efficiency by crops. Incubation experiments were conducted using five soils (pH 5.5-9.0), three N sources such as, urea, di-ammonium phosphate (DAP), and poultry manure (PM) and two biochars such as, poultry litter biochar (PL-BC) and macadamia nut shell biochar (MS-BC). Ammonia volatilization was higher at soil with higher pH (pH exceeding 8) due to the increased hydroxyl ions. Among the N sources, urea recorded the highest NH3 volatilization (151.6mgkg-1soil) followed by PM (124.2mgkg-1soil) and DAP (99mgkg-1soil). Ammonia volatilization was reduced by approximately 70% with PL-BC and MS-BC. The decreased NH3 volatilization with biochars is attributed to multiple mechanisms such as NH3 adsorption/immobilization, and nitrification. Moreover, biochar increased wheat dry weight and N uptake as high as by 24.24% and 76.11%, respectively. This study unravels the immense potential of biochar in decreasing N volatilization from soils and simultaneously improving use efficiency by wheat.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This study was financially supported by the CERAR (Centre for Environmental Risk Assessment and Remediation) Honours Scholarship , CRC CARE (Cooperative Research Centre for Contamination Assessment and Remediation of the Environment) and the Barbara Hardy Institute and Natural Resource Management Honours Scholarship at the University of South Australia.
© 2015 Elsevier Ltd.
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- Ammonia volatilization
- Nitrogen dynamics
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Environmental Engineering
- Environmental Chemistry
- Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis