Submitted to: American Society of Agronomy
Publication Type: Book / Chapter
Publication Acceptance Date: April 1, 1996
Publication Date: N/A
Most of the N in surface soils is present in the form of organic compounds that can't be directly utilized by plants. The amount of N converted from organic to mineral forms through mineralization depends on past management history, annual climatic variation and inherent soil properties. The capacity of soil to supply plant-available N is an important indicator of soil quality. Many chemical and biological methods have been developed in order to provide a simple, reliable indicator of potentially mineralizable N. In this paper, the use of N mineralization potential as an indicator of soil quality is discussed. The advantages and disadvantages of various published methods are presented and two biologically-based laboratory methods are recommended for determination of soil N mineralization potential.