Pedosphere 25(4): 605--612, 2015
ISSN 1002-0160/CN 32-1315/P
©2015 Soil Science Society of China
Published by Elsevier B.V. and Science Press
In Situ measurement of ammonia concentration in soil headspace using Fourier transform mid-infrared photoacoustic spectroscopy
DU Chang-Wen, WANG Jiao, ZHOU Zi-Jun, SHEN Ya-Zhen and ZHOU Jian-Min
State Key Laboratory of Soil and Sustainable Agriculture, Institute of Soil Science, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Nanjing 210008 (China)
      Ammonia (NH3) volatilization is one of the important pathways of nitrogen loss in alkaline soil, and the NH3 concentration in soil headspace is directly linked with the NH3 volatilization. Ammonia was characterized by Fourier transform mid-infrared Photoacoustic spectroscopy (FTIR-PAS) and two typical absorption bands in the region of 850–1 200 cm-1 were observed, which could be used for the prediction of NH3 concentration in the soil headspace. An alkaline soil from North China was involved in the soil incubation, pot and field experiments under three fertilization treatments (control without N input (CK), urea and coated urea). Ammonia concentrations in the soil headspace were determined in each experiment. In the soil incubation experiment, the NH3 emissions were initiated by the N input, reached the highest concentration on day 2, and decreased to the level as measured in CK after 8 d, with significantly higher NH3 emissions in the urea treatment compared to coated urea treatment, especially during the first 4 d. The NH3 concentration in soil headspace of the pot experiment showed the similar dynamics as that in the incubation experiment; however, the NH3 concentration in the soil headspace in the field experiment demonstrated a significantly different emission pattern with those of the incubation and pot experiments, and there was a 4-d delay for the NH3 concentration. Therefore, the NH3 concentration in the incubation and pot experiments could not be directly used to model the real NH3 emission in the field due to the differences in fertilization method and application rate as well as soil temperature and soil disturbance. It was recommended that light irrigation in the second week after fertilization and involvement of controlled release coated urea could be used to significantly decrease N loss from the perspective of NH3 volatilization.
Key Words:  ammonia volatilization, cantilevel-type microphone, nitrogen, principal component regression, soil incubation
Citation: Du, C. W., Wang, J., Zhou, Z. J., Shen, Y. Z. and Zhou, J. M. 2015. In Situ measurement of ammonia concentration in soil headspace using Fourier transform mid-infrared photoacoustic spectroscopy. Pedosphere. 25(4): 605-612.
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