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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Effect of a Temporal Carbon Gradient on Nitrogen and Phosphorus Dynamics During Decomposition of Corn Stalks

item Adler, Paul

Submitted to: Ecological Society of America Abstracts
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: May 15, 2001
Publication Date: August 1, 2001
Citation: Adler, P.R. 2001. Effect of a temporal carbon gradient on nitrogen and phosphorus dynamics during decomposition of corn stalks. Ecological Society of America Abstracts. August 5-10, 2000, Madison, Wisconsin.

Technical Abstract: Anaerobic decomposition and stabilization of animal manure in lagoons is a standard practice. In contrast to aerobic decomposition, anaerobic storage of manure in lagoons degrades its value by increasing offensive odors and air pollutants and reducing organic matter and nutrient content. Thermophilic composting is a common aerobic process used to stabilize organic matter. Aerobic decomposition under ambient temperature can be a less resource intense management alternative to thermophilic composting. The experiment objective was to determine the effect of an on-farm management strategy of establishing a temporal carbon gradient on nitrogen and phosphorus sequestration and stabilization of rainbow trout manure (RTM) during mesophilic composting. The experiment was conducted in 30 x 61cm polypropylene bags at about 15C and in all treatments, RTM was applied at the same rate (1.28g N), every 14 days for 112 days. The carbon source, ground corns stalks, was applied in 3 batch sizes. The 1X treatmen applied 70g corn stalks every 14 days, the 4X treatment applied 280g corn stalks at day 0 and 56, and the 8X treatment applied 560g corn stalks once at day 0. All bags had the same amount of carbon and nitrogen added to them by the end of the experiment at a C:N ratio of 30:1. Decomposition and initial sequestration of nitrogen and phosphorus increased as the batch size of carbon addition increased. Management of carbon through batch size may increase carbon stabilization and nitrogen and phosphorus sequestration during mesophilic composting.

Last Modified: 4/22/2015
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