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Article << Previous     |     Next >>   Contents Vol 22(2)

Variations in natural enrichment of 15N in the profiles of some Australian pasture soils

SF Ledgard, JR Freney and JR Simpson

Australian Journal of Soil Research 22(2) 155 - 164
Published: 1984


Variability in the natural enrichment of 15N in total nitrogen (N) and several N fractions was examined for profiles of pasture soils differing in parent material and period under Trifolium subterraneum. The natural enrichment of 15N in the total N of surface soils (0-5 cm) within a 400 km2 catchment ranged from 2.55 to 6.79¿(expressed as ä15N with respect to atmospheric N2). There was no relationship with parent material, period under T. subterraneum or concentration of total N in the soil. In one soil, lateral variations in ä15N over a 12 m2 grid were within the range of 5.01 to 7.95¿. The ä15N of total soil N always increased with depth in the soil profiles. This was associated with an increase in the stable clay-sized humus fraction, which had a higher ä15N than the less humified organic N in sand and silt-sized fractions. One soil was separated into four depth layers in which ä15N in the inorganic N, mineralizable N, plant-extractable N and total soil N were determined. The first three parameters all had lower ä15N values than the total soil N. The ä15N of total N increased with soil depth, whereas there was no change with depth in the other three parameters.

Full text doi:10.1071/SR9840155

© CSIRO 1984

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