Improvement in nitrogen availability, nitrogen uptake and growth of aerobic rice following soil acidification uri icon

abstract

  • A yield decline and increase in soil pH under continuous cropping of aerobic rice have been reported in previous studies. However, the underlying mechanisms governing the poor growth and low yield of aerobic rice following an increase in soil pH are unknown. The objective of the present study was to determine the effect of soil acidification on the soil nutrient availability, plant nutrition and growth of aerobic rice grown in continuously cropped aerobic soil. Two pot experiments were conducted using soil from a field where aerobic rice had been grown for 13 consecutive seasons. Soil was acidified by adding 50-300 mL of 0.05 mol L-1 sulfuric acid to 3.0 kg of air-dried soil to achieve a range of soil pH levels. Rice was grown aerobically with N rates of 0-1.2 g per pot using urea or ammonium sulfate. Soil chemical properties were measured as were leaf nutrient concentrations, plant growth parameters, and the above-ground N uptake. A 5.5-fold and 1.5-fold increase in soil ammonium and nitrate were observed, respectively, after adding sulfuric acid. Plant growth and N uptake improved significantly with soil acidification, regardless of N rates or N sources, and were associated with an improvement in plant N nutrition. The application of N had greater positive effects on plant growth and N uptake than soil acidification. The growth response to soil acidification reduced as the rate of N application increased. These results suggest that the yield decline of continuous aerobic rice is probably associated with a reduction in soil N availability and plant N uptake as a result of a gradual increase in soil pH.

publication date

  • 2009
  • 2009
  • 2009