Aerobic mineralization and recovery of nitrogen as affected by soil organic matter status in three sites in Kenya
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Pressure on available land has increased due to high population density and other competing land-use demands which have led to reduced use of traditional fallows and subsequent decline in soil fertility. Aerobic N mineralization potential as affected by soil organic matter status in the soil was determined by a 56 day aerobic incubation at 25°C. Calliandra treatment at Maseno and Embu trials had the highest mineralization over the incubation period. This was attributed to its low quality (slow decomposition and N release) and its ability to build up soil organic matter (SOM) in the soil. Recovery of nitrogen in maize plants was also determined and recovery was highest at Embu trial followed by Maseno trial while Kabete trial had the lowest recoveries. Rainfall distribution and resource quality were the main factors affecting. recovery of nitrogen at the three trials.
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