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The Nitrogen Contained in Carbonized Poultry Litter is not Plant Available

Authors
  • Steiner, Christoph
  • Harris, Keith
  • Gaskin, Julia
  • Das, K.C.
Type
Published Article
Journal
Open Agriculture
Publisher
Sciendo
Publication Date
Aug 25, 2018
Volume
3
Issue
1
Pages
284–290
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1515/opag-2018-0030
Source
De Gruyter
Keywords
License
Green

Abstract

Pyrolysis of biomass, reduces its volume, mass, odour, and potential pathogens, while concentrating nutrients in the resulting biochar. However, the plant availability of nutrients in particular of nitrogen remains largely unknown. Therefore, we investigated the nutrient availability of carbonized poultry litter. A nutrient poor soil was either fertilized with poultry litter or poultry litter carbonized at 500°C at the rates of 1.5, 3 and 6 t/ha. These organic amendments were compared with corresponding rates of mineral fertilizers (NH4NO3, KCl, CaHPO4, MgSO4) in a pot experiment. After four successive harvests of ryegrass (Lolium sp.) in a greenhouse we analyzed plant nutrient uptake and nutrient concentrations in the soil. While all treatments showed a linear increase in plant growth and nitrogen uptake, the plants fertilized with carbonized poultry litter did not show such a response. The carbonized poultry litter treatment produced more biomass than the unfertilized control, but the tissue concentration of nitrogen was below that of the control. Mehlich 1 extractable nutrients in the soil showed that there is more available phosphorus, potassium, calcium and magnesium in the soil fertilized with the carbonized poultry manure, but these available nutrients were not utilized due to the nitrogen limitation to plant growth. The results clearly show that nitrogen contained in carbonized poultry litter is not available for plants

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