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Open AccessArticle

A Nitrification Inhibitor, Nitrapyrin, Reduces Potential Nitrate Leaching through Soil Columns Treated with Animal Slurries and Anaerobic Digestate

Department of Agricultural and Food Sciences, Alma Mater Studiorum University of Bologna, 40127 Bologna, Italy
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Agronomy 2020, 10(6), 865; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy10060865
Received: 28 April 2020 / Revised: 5 June 2020 / Accepted: 16 June 2020 / Published: 18 June 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Soil Healthy in Agro-ecosystems)
A leaching experiment was designed to study the effects of a commercial nitrification inhibitor containing nitrapyrin on nitrification, microbial nitrogen (N) immobilization, and nitrate leaching. Soil columns were treated with 100 mg N kg−1 from pig slurry, cattle slurry, and anaerobic digestate in a mixture with or without the nitrification inhibitor. Destructive sampling was carried out after 0, 7, and 28 days of incubation in the dark at 18 °C. At each sampling date, artificial rain (200 mm of 0.01 M calcium chloride over 4 h) was added to the soil columns. The leachate was collected, and the soil was removed from the columns and sectioned into 5 cm segments. Results indicated that after 28 days of incubation, nitrapyrin enhanced ammoniacal N accumulation in the top layers of the soil columns and reduced the nitrate concentration in the leachates with pig slurry and anaerobic digestate. Furthermore, in the soil columns treated with anaerobic digestate, nitrapyrin promoted microbial N immobilization. These findings suggest that the use of nitrapyrin in a mixture with animal slurry and anaerobic digestate has the potential to reduce nitrate leaching and increase N retention in the topsoil, affording both environmental and economic advantages. View Full-Text
Keywords: nitrification inhibitor; nitrapyrin; livestock effluent; nitrate leaching nitrification inhibitor; nitrapyrin; livestock effluent; nitrate leaching
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Giacometti, C.; Mazzon, M.; Cavani, L.; Ciavatta, C.; Marzadori, C. A Nitrification Inhibitor, Nitrapyrin, Reduces Potential Nitrate Leaching through Soil Columns Treated with Animal Slurries and Anaerobic Digestate. Agronomy 2020, 10, 865.

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