Estimating nutrient release from soil organic matter using ion-exchange membranes
A simple method was developed to assess mineralizable soil organic N and S using anion-exchange membrane (AEM) burial. With this method, strips of AEM were buried in the soil and used to absorb nitrate and sulfate ions released from organic matter during the incubation of field-moist soil in plastic vials. An index of mineralization was obtained by subtracting initial AEM extractable ion from the ion absorbed on an AEM strip removed at the end of incubation. The mineralization index was compared to a reference method using the same incubation system but with 0.001M CaCl2 solution to extract nitrate and sulfate. A total of 67 soil samples were used which provided a range of soil properties. Results showed the AEM incubation to be simple and to be more closely correlated with plant N and S uptake (r2 = 0.862**** for N and 0.920**** for S) than the reference method (r2 = 0.602**** for N and 0.682**** for S).
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