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Effect of Raw and NH4+-enriched Zeolite on Nitrogen Uptake by Wheat and Nitrogen Leaching in Soils with Different Textures

Mehrab, Narges, Chorom, Mostafa, Hojati, Saeid
Communications in soil science and plant analysis 2016 v.47 no.10 pp. 1306-1316
ammonium compounds, clay loam soils, drainage water, grain yield, irrigation, leachates, leaching, nitrates, nitrogen, nitrogen content, nitrogen fertilizers, sandy clay loam soils, sandy loam soils, soil nutrients, urea, water quality, wheat, zeolites
Leaching of nutrients in soil can change the surface and groundwater quality. The present study aimed at investigating the effects of raw and ammonium (NH ₄⁺)-enriched zeolite on nitrogen leaching and wheat yields in sandy loam and clay loam soils. The treatments were one level of nitrogen; Z ₀: (100 kg (N) ha ⁻¹) as urea, two levels of raw zeolite; Z ₁:(0.5 g kg ⁻¹ + 100 kg ha ⁻¹) and Z ₂: (1 g kg ⁻¹ + 100 kg ha ⁻¹), and two levels of NH ₄⁺-enriched zeolite; Z ₃: (0.5 g kg ⁻¹ + 80 kg ha ⁻¹) and Z ₄: (1 g kg ⁻¹ + 60 kg ha ⁻¹). Wheat grains were sown in pots and, after each irrigation event, the leachates were collected and their nitrate (NO ₃⁻) and NH ₄⁺ contents were determined. The grain yield and the total N in plants were measured after four months of wheat growth. The results indicated that the amounts of NH ₄⁺ and NO ₃⁻ leached from the sandy loam soil were more than those from the clay loam soil in all irrigation events. The maximum and minimum concentrations of nitrogen in the drainage water for both soils were observed at control and NH ₄⁺-zeolite treatments, respectively. Total N in the plants grown in the sandy loam was higher compared to plants grown in clay loam soil. Also, nitrogen uptake by plants in control and NH ₄⁺-zeolite was higher than that of raw-zeolite treatments. The decrease in the amount of N leaching in the presence of NH ₄⁺-zeolite caused more N availability for plants and increased the efficiency of nitrogen fertilizers and the plants yield.