Specific contributions of decaying alfalfa roots to nitrate leaching in a Kalamazoo loam soil

Kavdir Y., Rasse D., Smucker A.

AGRICULTURE ECOSYSTEMS & ENVIRONMENT, vol.109, pp.97-106, 2005 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 109
  • Publication Date: 2005
  • Doi Number: 10.1016/j.agee.2005.02.020
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus
  • Page Numbers: pp.97-106
  • Keywords: alfalfa, roots, suction lysimeters, nitrate leaching, hydraulic conductivity, NITROGEN, INFILTRATION, FERTILIZER, TILLAGE
  • Çanakkale Onsekiz Mart University Affiliated: Yes


Alfalfa (Medicago sativa L.) contributes 430 million kg N year(-1) to the US Corn-Belt soils, according to a 1991 survey. Minimizing leaching losses from these very large N inputs requires a better understanding of the specific root dynamics that relate to the shoot-borne nitrates which have been reported to develop throughout many soil profiles. The objective of the present study was to determine the impact of decaying alfalfa roots on nitrate inputs to soils and on soil hydraulic conductivity properties which affect nitrate leaching.