Temperature alters dicyandiamide (DCD) efficacy for multiple reactive nitrogen species in urea-amended soils: Experiments and modeling

Rodney T. Venterea, Timothy J. Clough, Jeffrey A. Coulter, Emerson F.C. Souza, Florence Breuillin-Sessoms, Kurt A. Spokas, Michael J. Sadowsky, Sanjay K. Gupta, Kevin F. Bronson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations

Abstract

Dicyandiamide (DCD) is a nitrification inhibitor (NI) used to reduce reactive nitrogen (N) losses from soils. While commonly used, its effectiveness varies widely. Few studies have measured DCD and temperature effects on a complete set of soil N variables, including nitrite (NO2) measured separately from nitrate (NO3). Here the DCD reduction efficiencies (RE) for nine N availability metrics were quantified in two soils (a loam and silt loam) using aerobic laboratory microcosms at 5–30 °C. Both regression analysis and process modeling were used to characterize the responses. Four metrics accounted for NO3 production and included total mobilized N, net nitrification, maximum nitrification rate, and cumulative NO3 (cNO3-). The REs for these NO3-associated production variables decreased linearly with temperature, and in all cases were below 60% at temperatures ≥22 °C, except for cNO3- in one soil. In contrast, REs for NO2 and nitric oxide (NO) gas production were less sensitive to temperature, ranging from 80 to 99% at 22 °C and 50–95% at 30 °C. Addition of DCD suppressed nitrous oxide (N2O) production in both soils by 20–80%, but increased ammonia volatilization by 36–210%. The time at which the maximum reduction efficiency occurred decreased exponentially with increasing temperature for most variables. The two-step nitrification process model (2SN) was modified to include competitive inhibition coupled to first-order DCD decomposition. Model versus data comparisons suggested that DCD had indirect effects on NO2 kinetics that contributed to the greater suppression of NO2 and NO relative to NO3. This study also points to the need for NIs that are more stable under increased temperature. The methods used here could help to assess the efficacy and temperature sensitivity of other NIs as well as new microbial inhibitors that may be developed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number108341
JournalSoil Biology and Biochemistry
Volume160
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 1 2021

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The authors acknowledge and thank Michael Dolan, Xinci Tan and Carrie O'Connor-Walker for their assistance with the experiments and Scott Mitchell for logistical help. This work was supported in part by a grant from the Minnesota Corn Growers/Minnesota Corn Research and Promotion Council, and by the Agricultural Research Service under the Soil and Air National Program no. 212.

Funding Information:
The authors acknowledge and thank Michael Dolan, Xinci Tan and Carrie O'Connor-Walker for their assistance with the experiments and Scott Mitchell for logistical help. This work was supported in part by a grant from the Minnesota Corn Growers/Minnesota Corn Research and Promotion Council, and by the Agricultural Research Service under the Soil and Air National Program no. 212.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021

Keywords

  • Ammonia
  • Fertilizer
  • Nitrate
  • Nitrification inhibitor
  • Nitrous oxide
  • Urine

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