Pedosphere 14(2): 213--222, 2004
ISSN 1002-0160/CN 32-1315/P
©2004 Soil Science Society of China
Published by Elsevier B.V. and Science Press
Responses of greenhouse tomato and pepper yields and nitrogen dynamics to applied compound fertilizers
ZHU Jian-Hua1, LI Xiao-Lin1, ZHANG Fu-Suo1, LI Jun-Liang2 and P. CHRISTIE1,3
1 Key Laboratory of Plant-Soil Interactions, Ministry of Education, China Agricultural University, Beijing 100094 (China). E-mail:
2 Department of Agronomy, Laiyang Agricultural College, Shandong 265200 (China)
3 Agricultural and Environmental Science Department, Queen's University Belfast, Newforge Lane, Belfast BT9 5PX (UK)
      Yield and N uptake of tomato (Lycopersicum esculentum Mill.) and pepper (Capsicum annuum L.) crops in five successive rotations receiving two compound fertilizers (12-12-17 and 21-8-11 N-P2O5-K2O) were studied to determine 1) crop responses, 2) dynamics of NO3-N and NH4-N in different soil layers, 3) N balance and 4) system-level N efficiencies. Five treatments (2 fertilizers, 2 fertilizer rates and a control), each with three replicates, were arranged in the study. The higher N fertilizer rate, 300 kg N ha-1 (versus 150 kg N ha-1), returned higher vegetable fruit yields and total aboveground N uptake with the largest crop responses occurring for the low-N fertilizer (12-12-17) applied at 300 kg N ha-1 rather than with the high-N fertilizer (21-8-11). Ammonium-N in the top 90 cm of the soil profile declined during the experiment, while nitrate-N remained at a similar level throughout the experiment with the lower rate of fertilizer N. At the higher rate of N fertilizer there was a continuous NO3-N accumulation of over 800 kg N ha-1. About 200 kg N ha-1 was applied with irrigation to each crop using NO3-contaminated groundwater. In general, about 50% of the total N input was recovered from all treatments. Pepper, relative to tomato, used N more efficiently with smaller N losses, but the crops utilized less than 29% of the fertilizer N over the two and a half-year period. Local agricultural practices maintained high residual soil nutrient status. Thus, optimization of irrigation is required to minimize nitrate leaching and maximize crop N recovery.
Key Words:  greenhouse vegetables, N dynamics, N efficiency, N uptake, N utilization
Citation: Zhu, J. H., Li, X. L., Zhang, F. S., Li, J. L. and Christie, P. 2004. Responses of greenhouse tomato and pepper yields and nitrogen dynamics to applied compound fertilizers. Pedosphere. 14(2): 213-222.
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