Sunteți pe pagina 1din 1
Nitrification Denitrification Volatilization Rhizobia N-fixation BasicBasic BasicBasic BiologicalBiological
Nitrification
Denitrification
Volatilization
Rhizobia
N-fixation
BasicBasic BasicBasic BiologicalBiological BiologicalBiological
FactorsFactors FactorsFactors ofof ofof
SoilSoil SoilSoil CarbonCarbon CarbonCarbon andand andand
+
+
-
Carbon is essential for life. Soil organic matter (SOM) contains the
nutrients and energy organisms and plants need.
Plants take up inorganic nitrogen (NH 4 , NO 3 ).
+
CO 2
NitrogenNitrogen NitrogenNitrogen
At harvest, nitrogen may leave the farm in commodities or can be
returned if livestock consume the crops and the manure is returned to
the fields.
CO 2
O
2
Photosynthesis
O
2
Light
+
Precipitation adds small amounts of nitrogen to the soil.
CO 2
Through
the
process
of
+
+
by chemical and
C 6 H 12 O 6
CO 2
(sugar)
photosynthesis, plants absorb CO 2
from the atmosphere, transform
it into plant carbon, and
sequester it in either above- or
below-ground biomass and/or soil
carbon.
N 2 gas in the atmosphere is converted to NH 4
biological processes (nitrogen fixation).
Litter
Crop Residues
Animal
+
Crop residues and green and animal manures contain organic N.
Organic
Manure
Soil
CO 3 , HCO 3
Horizons
Reactions
H
2 O
H
2 O
Microbial Activity
Above-Ground Crop
Carbon Dioxide
Grain
Microbial Activity
6 CO 2 + 12 H 2 O + Light
C 6 H 12 O 6 + 6 O 2 + 6 H 2 O
Export
Leaching Losses
N 2 - Air
The Soil Food Web
Kristina A. Goings
National Soil Survey Center, NRCS, USDA, Lincoln, Nebraska
Soil organisms are responsible for the transformation of plant material to
humus. Plant and animal residue make up a large portion of organic matter
(OM) in soil. SOM or humus is the glue that helps hold soil into
aggregates. Plant cover helps stop both wind and water erosion as does
the aggregation effect of SOM.
Roots
+
CO 2 , through photosynthesis, is converted to plant material.
CarbonCarbonCarbonCarbon //// NitrogenNitrogenNitrogenNitrogen RatioRatioRatioRatio
Microorganisms
Fertilizer
Soil Organic Matter
+ When the crop is harvested and removed from the farm, carbon is
lost. If livestock consume the crop, the carbon may be returned to
the soil in the form of manure.
Burrowing animals, insects, and earthworms mix, help form aggregates,
and add nutrients to the soil. When animals die, they decompose returning
nutrients to the soil. Insects chop up plant and animal residue which
increases the surface area available to microorganisms for decomposition.
+ Crop residue, roots, and manure are a carbon (energy) source for
microorganisms.
Carbon / Nitrogen (C/N) ratios are important. Plant and animal residues that
have a C/N of 30:1 and over, have too little N to allow for rapid decomposition.
Therefore, the microorganisms will take ammonium and nitrate out of the soil to
fuel decomposition. This depletes the soil of nitrate and ammonium. Plants and
animal residues with low C/N ratios (20:1 and less) have sufficient N for the
microorganisms to decompose the residues without taking from the soil.
Ammonia
Leached
+ Converting organic carbon to CO 2 is mineralization of carbon. When
microorganisms respire, CO 2 is released to the atmosphere.
Insects
Nitrate
High C/N ratio
Birds
Animals
+ The conversion of organic N to inorganic N is mineralization.
+ Short-term SOM is residue that is readily decomposed. Short-term
SOM is a source of nitrogen, phosphorus, and sulfur for plants.
Short-term SOM lasts 1 to 3 years.
Low C/N ratio
Fungi
+ The opposite of mineralization is immobilization.
Corn
Legume
+ Nitrification is the conversion of NH
(ammonia) to NO 3 (nitrate),
+
4
-
+ Long-term SOM (humus) is the carbon form that resists
decomposition and may last for greater than 1000 years.
carried out by two microorganisms -- Nitrosomonas and Nitrobacter.
Animals
Mineralization
+ Ammonia can be volatilized (turned to gas) and lost to the atmosphere.
+ Decomposition is slower.
Organic Matter:
+ When NO 3 is converted to nitrous oxide, it is called denitrification.
+ Soil carbon losses are exacerbated through erosion and, to a lesser
extent, may be lost through leaching of dissolved organic carbon
(DOC).
+ Decomposition is rapid due to higher
nitrogen within the plant.
Worms
waste, residue, and
metabolites of plants,
animals, and
microorganisms
+ Nitrate is mobile in soil and therefore easily leached.
+ Erosion and runoff remove N from the agricultural field.
+ The basic processes of the carbon cycle are: CO 2 in through
photosynthesis, and CO 2 out through decomposition.
+ Microorganism will deplete soil
of nitrate and ammonium until
they die and release nitrate
and ammonium.
Bacteria
+ Microorganisms are satisfied with
plant N. When microorganisms die,
nitrate and ammonia are released,
increasing soil N.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) prohibits discrimination in all its programs and activities on the basis of race, color, national origin, gender, religion, age, disability, political
beliefs, sexual orientation, and marital or family status. (Not all prohibited bases apply to all programs.) Persons with disabilities who require alternative means for communication of
program information (Braille, large print, audiotape, etc.) should contact USDA's TARGET Center at 202-720-2600 (voice and TDD). To file a complaint of discrimination, write USDA,
Director, Office of Civil Rights, Room 326W, Whitten Building, 14th and Independence Avenue, SW, Washington, DC 20250-9410 or call 202-720-5964 (voice or TDD).
USDA is an equal opportunity provider and employer.
Microorganisms