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Journal of Arid Land

Abstract

Atmospheric nitrogen (N) deposition has been poorly documented in northern China, an intensive agricultural and industrial region with large emissions of NHx and NOy. To quantify N deposition, total airborne N deposition was determined at three agricultural sites using a manual integrated total nitrogen input (ITNI) system during growth of winter wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) and Italian ryegrass (Lolium multiflorum Lam.) from September 2005 to May 2006. Total estimated N deposition averaged 54.9 and 43.2 kg N/hm2 across the three sites when wheat was grown to flowering and maturing, respectively. The average value was 50.2 kg N/hm2 when ryegrass was the indicator plant. Both indicator species gave similar total airborne N input results. The intermediate level of N supplied resulted in the highest N deposition, and the ratio of N acquired from deposition to total N content of the whole system de-creased with increasing N supply to the roots. The contribution of atmospheric N to the total N content of the wheat and ryegrass sand culture systems ranged from 10% to 24%.

Keywords

airborne nitrogen inputs; 15N pool dilution method; sand culture system; biological indicators

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