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Title: Leaching losses of dissolved organic carbon and nitrogen from agricultural soils in the upper US Midwest

Abstract

Leaching losses of dissolved organic carbon (DOC) and nitrogen (DON) from agricultural systems are important to water quality and carbon and nutrient balances but are rarely reported; the few available studies suggest linkages to litter production (DOC) and nitrogen fertilization (DON). In this study we examine the leaching of DOC, DON, NO 3 -, and NH 4 + from no-till corn (maize) and perennial bioenergy crops (switchgrass, miscanthus, native grasses, restored prairie, and poplar) grown between 2009 and 2016 in a replicated field experiment in the upper Midwest U.S. Leaching was estimated from concentrations in soil water and modeled drainage (percolation) rates. DOC leaching rates (kg ha -1 yr -1) and volume-weighted mean concentrations (mg L -1) among cropping systems averaged 15.4 and 4.6, respectively; N fertilization had no effect and poplar lost the most DOC (21.8 and 6.9, respectively). DON leaching rates (kg ha -1 yr -1) and volume-weighted mean concentrations (mg L -1) under corn (the most heavily N-fertilized crop) averaged 4.5 and 1.0, respectively, which was higher than perennial grasses (mean: 1.5 and 0.5, respectively) and poplar (1.6 and 0.5, respectively). NO 3 - comprised the majority of total N leaching in all systems (59–92%). Average NOmore » 3 - leaching (kg N ha -1 yr -1) under corn (35.3) was higher than perennial grasses (5.9) and poplar (7.2). NH 4 + concentrations in soil water from all cropping systems were relatively low (<0.07 mg N L -1). Perennial crops leached more NO 3 - in the first few years after planting, and markedly less after. Among the fertilized crops, the leached N represented 14–38% of the added N over the study period; poplar lost the greatest proportion (38%) and corn was intermediate (23%). Requiring only one third or less of the N fertilization compared to corn, perennial bioenergy crops can substantially reduce N leaching and consequent movement into aquifers and surface waters.« less

Authors:
; ; ORCiD logo;
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Univ. of Wisconsin, Madison, WI (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE Office of Science (SC), Biological and Environmental Research (BER)
OSTI Identifier:
1630980
Alternate Identifier(s):
OSTI ID: 1714289
Grant/Contract Number:  
SC0018409; FC02-07ER64494
Resource Type:
Journal Article: Published Article
Journal Name:
Science of the Total Environment
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Name: Science of the Total Environment Journal Volume: 734 Journal Issue: C; Journal ID: ISSN 0048-9697
Publisher:
Elsevier
Country of Publication:
Netherlands
Language:
English
Subject:
54 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES; Dissolved organic matter; Nitrate; Corn; Grass; Poplar; Biofuel

Citation Formats

Hussain, Mir Zaman, Robertson, G. Philip, Basso, Bruno, and Hamilton, Stephen K. Leaching losses of dissolved organic carbon and nitrogen from agricultural soils in the upper US Midwest. Netherlands: N. p., 2020. Web. doi:10.1016/j.scitotenv.2020.139379.
Hussain, Mir Zaman, Robertson, G. Philip, Basso, Bruno, & Hamilton, Stephen K. Leaching losses of dissolved organic carbon and nitrogen from agricultural soils in the upper US Midwest. Netherlands. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2020.139379
Hussain, Mir Zaman, Robertson, G. Philip, Basso, Bruno, and Hamilton, Stephen K. Tue . "Leaching losses of dissolved organic carbon and nitrogen from agricultural soils in the upper US Midwest". Netherlands. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2020.139379.
@article{osti_1630980,
title = {Leaching losses of dissolved organic carbon and nitrogen from agricultural soils in the upper US Midwest},
author = {Hussain, Mir Zaman and Robertson, G. Philip and Basso, Bruno and Hamilton, Stephen K.},
abstractNote = {Leaching losses of dissolved organic carbon (DOC) and nitrogen (DON) from agricultural systems are important to water quality and carbon and nutrient balances but are rarely reported; the few available studies suggest linkages to litter production (DOC) and nitrogen fertilization (DON). In this study we examine the leaching of DOC, DON, NO3-, and NH4+ from no-till corn (maize) and perennial bioenergy crops (switchgrass, miscanthus, native grasses, restored prairie, and poplar) grown between 2009 and 2016 in a replicated field experiment in the upper Midwest U.S. Leaching was estimated from concentrations in soil water and modeled drainage (percolation) rates. DOC leaching rates (kg ha-1 yr-1) and volume-weighted mean concentrations (mg L-1) among cropping systems averaged 15.4 and 4.6, respectively; N fertilization had no effect and poplar lost the most DOC (21.8 and 6.9, respectively). DON leaching rates (kg ha-1 yr-1) and volume-weighted mean concentrations (mg L-1) under corn (the most heavily N-fertilized crop) averaged 4.5 and 1.0, respectively, which was higher than perennial grasses (mean: 1.5 and 0.5, respectively) and poplar (1.6 and 0.5, respectively). NO3- comprised the majority of total N leaching in all systems (59–92%). Average NO3- leaching (kg N ha-1 yr-1) under corn (35.3) was higher than perennial grasses (5.9) and poplar (7.2). NH4+ concentrations in soil water from all cropping systems were relatively low (<0.07 mg N L-1). Perennial crops leached more NO3- in the first few years after planting, and markedly less after. Among the fertilized crops, the leached N represented 14–38% of the added N over the study period; poplar lost the greatest proportion (38%) and corn was intermediate (23%). Requiring only one third or less of the N fertilization compared to corn, perennial bioenergy crops can substantially reduce N leaching and consequent movement into aquifers and surface waters.},
doi = {10.1016/j.scitotenv.2020.139379},
url = {https://www.osti.gov/biblio/1630980}, journal = {Science of the Total Environment},
issn = {0048-9697},
number = C,
volume = 734,
place = {Netherlands},
year = {2020},
month = {9}
}

Journal Article:
Free Publicly Available Full Text
Publisher's Version of Record at https://doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2020.139379

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