Pedosphere 17(5): 639--645, 2007
ISSN 1002-0160/CN 32-1315/P
©2007 Soil Science Society of China
Published by Elsevier B.V. and Science Press
Ammonia volatilization and nitrogen utilization efficiency in response to urea application in rice fields of the Taihu Lake region, China
LIN De-Xi1,3,4, FAN Xiao-Hui1,2, HU Feng3, ZHAO Hong-Tao1 and LUO Jia-Fa5
1 Institute of Soil Science, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Nanjing 210008 (China). E-mail:
2 Department of Soil and Water Science, Tropical Research and Education Center, Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, University of Florida, Homestead, FL33031 (USA)
3 College of Resource and Environmental Sciences, Nanjing Agricultural University, Nanjing 210095 (China)
4 College of Resource and Environmental Sciences, Fujian Agriculture & Forestry University, Fuzhou 350007 (China)
5 Land and Environmental Management Group, AgResearch, Ruakura Research Centre, Private Bag 3123, Hamilton (New Zealand)
      Ammonia volatilization losses, nitrogen utilization efficiency, and rice yields in response to urea application to a rice field were investigated in Wangzhuang Town, Changshu City, Jiangsu Province, China. The N fertilizer treatments, applied in triplicate, were 0 (control), 100, 200, 300, or 350 kg N ha-1. After urea was applied to the surface water, a continuous airflow enclosure method was used to measure ammonia volatilization in the paddy field. Total N losses through ammonia volatilization generally increased with the N application rate, and the two higher N application rates (300 and 350 kg N ha-1) showed a higher ratio of N lost through ammonia volatilization to applied N. Total ammonia loss by ammonia volatilization during the entire rice growth stage ranged from 9.0% to 16.7% of the applied N. Increasing the application rate generally decreased the ratio of N in the seed to N in the plant. For all N treatments, the nitrogen fertilizer utilization efficiency ranged from 30.9% to 45.9%. Surplus N with the highest N rate resulted in lodging of rice plants, a decreased rate of nitrogen fertilizer utilization, and reduced rice yields. Calculated from this experiment, the most economical N fertilizer application rate was 227 kg ha-1 for the type of paddy soil in the Taihu Lake region. However, recommending an appropriate N fertilizer application rate such that the plant growth is enhanced and ammonia loss is reduced could improve the N utilization efficiency of rice.
Key Words:  ammonia volatilization, N application rate, N utilization efficiency, paddy soil, rice yield
Citation: Lin, D. X., Fan, X. H., Hu, F., Zhao, H. T. and Luo, J. F. 2007. Ammonia volatilization and nitrogen utilization efficiency in response to urea application in rice fields of the Taihu Lake region, China. Pedosphere. 17(5): 639-645.
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