Natural 15N and 13C abundance in andisols influenced by long-term fertilization management in japan

Bingzi Zhao, Morihiro Maeda, Yasuo Ozaki

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


Two field experiments were conducted on Andisols in Japan to evaluate the changes in the natural 15N and 13C abundance in the soil profile and to determine whether the values of δ15N could be used as an indicator of fertilizer sources or fertilizer fate. The 6-year experiment conducted at the National Agricultural Research Center (NARC) consisted of the following treatments: application of swine compost (COMPOST), slow-release nitrogen fertilizer (SRNF), readily available nitrogen fertilizer (RANF), and absence of fertilization (CONTROL). Experimental plots located at the Nippon Agricultural Research Institute (NARI) received cattle compost at different rates for 12 years; a forest soil at this site was sampled for comparison. Swine compost application led to a considerable change in the δ15N distribution pattern in the soil profile, with the highest δ15N values recorded in the top 20 cm layers of the COMPOST plot, decreasing in the sequence of CONTROL >- RANF > SRNF, mainly due to the relatively high δ15N value of swine compost and its subsequent decomposition. In contrast, SRNF application resulted in the lowest δ15N values in soil, indicating the presence of negligible nitrogen losses relative to input and low nitrogen cycling rates. Values of δ15N increased with compost application rates at NARI. In the leachate collected at 1-m depth, the δ15N values decreased in the sequence of COMPOST > RANF ≥ CONTROL > SRNF. The δ13C values in soil peaked in the 40–60 cm layers for all the fertilizers. The δ13C value was lowest in forest soil due to the presence of plant residues in soil organic matter. These results indicated that the δ15N values in the upper soil layers or leachate may enable to detect pollution sources of organic or inorganic nitrogen qualitatively in Andisols.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)555-562
Number of pages8
JournalSoil Science and Plant Nutrition
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2002
Externally publishedYes


  • Andisols
  • C
  • Fertilization management
  • N
  • Natural abundance

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Soil Science
  • Plant Science


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