Ammonia oxidation to hydroxylamine is catalyzed by the ammonia monooxygenase enzyme and copper (Cu) is a key element for this process. We investigated the effect of soil bioavailable Cu changes induced through the application of Cu-complexing compounds on nitrification rate, ammonia-oxidizing bacteria (AOB) and archaea (AOA) amoA gene abundance, and mineral nitrogen (N) leaching in urine patches using the Manawatu Recent soil. Further, evaluated the combination of organic compound calcium lignosulphonate (LS) with a growth stimulant Gibberellic acid (GA). Treatments were applied in May 2021 as late-autumn treatments: control (no urine), urine-only at 600 kg N ha-1, urine + dicyandiamide (DCD), urine + co-poly-acrylic-maleic acid (PA-MA), urine + LS, urine + split-application of LS (2LS), and urine + combination of GA plus LS (GA + LS). In addition, another four treatments were applied in July 2021 as mid-winter treatments: control, urine-only at 600 kg N ha-1, urine + GA, and urine + GA + LS. Soil bioavailable Cu and mineral N leaching were examined during the experimental period. The AOB/AOA amoA genes were quantified using quantitative polymerase chain reaction. Changes in soil bioavailable Cu across treatments correlated with nitrification rate and AOB amoA abundance in late-autumn while the AOA amoA abundance did not change. The reduction in soil bioavailable Cu induced by the PA-MA and 2LS was linked to significant (P < 0.05) reduction in mineral N leaching of 16 and 30%, respectively, relative to the urine-only. The LS did not induce a significant effect on either bioavailable Cu or mineral N leaching relative to urine-only. The GA + LS reduced mineral N leaching by 10% relative to LS in late-autumn, however, there was no significant effect in mid-winter. This study demonstrated that reducing soil bioavailable Cu can be a potential strategy to reduce N leaching from urine patches.
Environ Pollut, 2023, 320 pp. 121107 - ?
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