The ecology of nutrientsKey terms Cycles Flows Stocks
Internal cycling is most important in natural ecosystems    Nutrient inputs      • Chemical weathering of rocks           ...
Nutrient budget for Hubbard Brook Forest              Source of plant nutrient (% of total)Nutrient      Deposition/fixati...
Elemental concentrations in soil vs. earth’s crust     0.001%   0.01%   0.1%   1%    10%         100%        crust        ...
Which forms of nutrients are bioavailable?                  All participate in biogeochemical cycles“active” OM           ...
Nutrient ecology in agroecosystems           What’s          missing?
Unfortunately                                              environmental losses are                                       ...
N budget for Rothamsted wheat experiment                   From the    To the                  atmosphere atmosphere      ...
Without fertilization, N is often a limiting nutrient            (i.e., N mineralization is often much slower             ...
"The most effective managementstrategy will be one that recognizes thepattern of nitrogen demand by thecrop and the nitrog...
Timing of availability has a big impact on uptake vs. losses                                             (Dinnes et al., 2...
Weathering, deposition and recycling often supply  trace elements at rates which are not limiting          Total stocks in...
Acre-plow layer stocks of trace elements        expressed as years of removal by corn, soybeans and alfalfa               ...
Average annual deposition of Saharan dust in the Amazon basin    exceeds 10 million tons or           > 150 lbs/ac        ...
Total Ammonia Emissions by County (1995)Where is all this ammonia coming from ??
Deposition of biological available N                                   1990s                                       50 lbs ...
N inputs to IL soils  (alfalfa and other forage legumes)Mg = 1 x 106 g = 1000 kg = 1 metric ton1 metric ton        =    22...
N outputs from IL soils                     M.David
Crop specific harvests of N                      M.David
Net N inputsNet input = Gross inputs - outputs                                     1993                                   ...
Mining Prairie N      Anthropogenic N inputs                               M.David
-523,000 tons of N/yr !Units are 1000 metric tons N / yr   M.David
+1 ton of N/yr !Units are 1000 metric tons N / yr   M.David
Why does so much N get into Illinois’ rivers ???
Approximately 40% of IL fields   have artificial drainage
Yield maps have made drainage    problems more obvious       ↓ more artificial  drainage       ↓ more nutrient  pollution
Photo: MARGARET BOURKE-WHITE                                     So where do the nutrients                                ...
Redistribution of nutrients in the Mid-Atlantic region excess   Counties with  large excesses   have the most     livestock
Surplus P and NState                   P            N             --Million of lbs in excess--DE                      7.3 ...
Keith Bowers of MultiformHarvest in Seattle hasdeveloped a system toremove phosphates fromswine and dairy manure. Itinvolv...
Nutrient depletion in Africahttp://www.fao.org/docrep/006/y5066e/y5066e02.jpg
Nutrient budgets on organic farms                a review of published dataN         Most organic farms in developed count...
Daily inputs and outputs of dry matter, P and N              http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/DS096
N                              P                                     K 20% maintenance                13% maintenance     ...
Nitrogen budget for a dairy in Florida (lbs of N/acre)               http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/DS096
Annual manure production and nutrient value for a 100 cow dairyManure constituent                Lbs/year/100 cows        ...
Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations (CAFOs) in ILThere are ~ 500 “large" CAFOs and ~ 2,700 "Medium" CAFOs in IL.These C...
In Illinois, there are actually 3 different types of manure management plansthat livestock facilities may be required to h...
NutrientBalanceProblem
Overview of Hislop farm        1500 sow farrow-to-wean operation32,000 piglets (with an average weight of 10 lbs)         ...
Nutrient inputs  Purchased feedPurchased fertilizerBiological N fixation
Nutrient inputsHow many tons of N, P and K arein 1300 tons of purchased feed ?           Feed analysis?N  2% of 1300 tons...
Nutrient inputs        How many tons of N, P and K       are in the purchased fertilizer ?    Fertilizer program? Acres? F...
Nutrient inputs               Biological N fixation    ~ 3 lbs of N fixation per bushel of beans750 acres of soybeans*50 b...
Total nutrient inputs ∑      Feed        Fertilizer        Biological N fixation
Nutrient outputs∑     Marketed grain      Marketed piglets    Environmental losses
Nutrient cycling on-farm     Nutrients in manure Nutrients in crop residuesNutrients in 50% of corn grain
You are welcome to analyze your family’s farm or any other farm with which you        are affiliated.
Ecology of nutrients
Ecology of nutrients
Ecology of nutrients
Ecology of nutrients
Ecology of nutrients
Ecology of nutrients
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Ecology of nutrients

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This is an updated version of "Nutrient dynamics"

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Ecology of nutrients

  1. 1. The ecology of nutrientsKey terms Cycles Flows Stocks
  2. 2. Internal cycling is most important in natural ecosystems Nutrient inputs • Chemical weathering of rocks • Biological fixation of atmospheric N • Deposition of elements from atmosphere Ecosystem • Transfer of nutrients Between plants and soil Between organic and inorganic forms Internal cycling • Changes in ionic forms • Biological uptake • Interactions with mineral surfaces • Leaching • Gaseous emissions • Wind and water erosion • Fire • Harvest Nutrient losses
  3. 3. Nutrient budget for Hubbard Brook Forest Source of plant nutrient (% of total)Nutrient Deposition/fixation Weathering RecyclingNitrogen 7 0 93Phosphorus 1 < 10 > 89Potassium 2 10 88Calcium 4 31 65Data from (Whittaker et al. 1979)
  4. 4. Elemental concentrations in soil vs. earth’s crust 0.001% 0.01% 0.1% 1% 10% 100% crust soil Adapted from Essington (2003)
  5. 5. Which forms of nutrients are bioavailable? All participate in biogeochemical cycles“active” OM but rates of “flow” vary widely. humus exchangeable ions ions in solutionweatherableminerals
  6. 6. Nutrient ecology in agroecosystems What’s missing?
  7. 7. Unfortunately environmental losses are sometimes larger thanHow big should this arrow be? nutrient removal in harvest Dissipation into the surrounding environment via erosion, leaching, volatilization…
  8. 8. N budget for Rothamsted wheat experiment From the To the atmosphere atmosphere Crop 50 10-50 Fertilizer uptake 200 200SOM - N 4000 160 80 NO3- + NH4+ Microbial Biomass N #s = kg/ha (0.89*kg/ha = lbs/ac) Loss by leaching 20-100 The total N stocks in soil normally greatly exceed annual flows
  9. 9. Without fertilization, N is often a limiting nutrient (i.e., N mineralization is often much slower than potential crop uptake) Peak uptake~ 3 lbs of N/ac/day Potential N uptake by wheat pasture Mineralized soil N Jenkinson
  10. 10. "The most effective managementstrategy will be one that recognizes thepattern of nitrogen demand by thecrop and the nitrogen releasecharacteristics of all important nitrogen sources to provideadequate, but not excessive levels of soil nitrogenthroughout the growingseason." Peak uptake = 5-10 lbs(Doerge, 1991) of N/ac/day
  11. 11. Timing of availability has a big impact on uptake vs. losses (Dinnes et al., 2001)
  12. 12. Weathering, deposition and recycling often supply trace elements at rates which are not limiting Total stocks in prairie soil A horizons low high average element (mg/kg) (mg/kg) (mg/kg) lbs/ac- pl* B 11 92 45 90 Cu 65 140 24 48 Mn 100 3907 480 960 Mo 0.4 6.9 2 4 Zn 20 770 65 130 * assumes 1 acre- plow layer = 2 million lbs w/ average conc.
  13. 13. Acre-plow layer stocks of trace elements expressed as years of removal by corn, soybeans and alfalfa lbs removed lbs removed lbs removed Total by 150 bu by 60 bu by 6 tonelement lbs/ ac-pl corn yrs soybeans yrs alfalfa yrs B 90 0.16 563 0.1 900 0.3 300 Cu 48 0.1 480 0.1 480 0.06 800 Mn 960 0.3 3200 0.6 1600 0.6 1600 Mo 4 0.008 500 0.01 400 0.02 200 Zn 130 0.27 481 0.2 650 0.24 542
  14. 14. Average annual deposition of Saharan dust in the Amazon basin exceeds 10 million tons or > 150 lbs/ac Dust leaving Swap et al. (1992) concluded that the Sahara the productivity of the Amazon rain forest is dependent upon trace elements contained in dust originating in the Sahara. “As soils develop in humid environments, rock-derived elements are gradually lost, and under constant conditions it seems that ecosystems should reach a state of profound and irreversible nutrient depletion. We show here that inputs of elements from the atmosphere can sustain the productivity of Hawaiian rainforests on highly weathered soils. Cations are supplied in marine aerosols and phosphorus is deposited in dust from central Asia, which is overmg dust/m2/yr 6,000km away.” ( Chadwick et al, 1999)
  15. 15. Total Ammonia Emissions by County (1995)Where is all this ammonia coming from ??
  16. 16. Deposition of biological available N 1990s 50 lbs N/acre
  17. 17. N inputs to IL soils (alfalfa and other forage legumes)Mg = 1 x 106 g = 1000 kg = 1 metric ton1 metric ton = 2204.6 pounds1 metric ton = 1.1023 US tons M.David
  18. 18. N outputs from IL soils M.David
  19. 19. Crop specific harvests of N M.David
  20. 20. Net N inputsNet input = Gross inputs - outputs 1993 M.David
  21. 21. Mining Prairie N Anthropogenic N inputs M.David
  22. 22. -523,000 tons of N/yr !Units are 1000 metric tons N / yr M.David
  23. 23. +1 ton of N/yr !Units are 1000 metric tons N / yr M.David
  24. 24. Why does so much N get into Illinois’ rivers ???
  25. 25. Approximately 40% of IL fields have artificial drainage
  26. 26. Yield maps have made drainage problems more obvious ↓ more artificial drainage ↓ more nutrient pollution
  27. 27. Photo: MARGARET BOURKE-WHITE So where do the nutrients in IL grain end up?Aerial view of Cargill grainelevator w. barges lined up on thebank of the Chicago River in 1951
  28. 28. Redistribution of nutrients in the Mid-Atlantic region excess Counties with large excesses have the most livestock
  29. 29. Surplus P and NState P N --Million of lbs in excess--DE 7.3 14.6 Why don’t weMD 10.4 19.6 send theNJ 0.9 1.8 surplus nutrientsNY 3.3 4.2 back?PA 23.7 33.8VA 24.8 42.3(Source: USDA, 2001)
  30. 30. Keith Bowers of MultiformHarvest in Seattle hasdeveloped a system toremove phosphates fromswine and dairy manure. Itinvolves changing thechemistry of the liquid manureto form struvite, a phosphatecompound that is precipitatedout of the slurry. Struvite,magnesium ammoniumphosphate, is sometimesdeposited naturally as scaleon wastewater pipes and inthe human body as kidneystones. It’s in demand as aslow release fertilizer andmagnesium source.
  31. 31. Nutrient depletion in Africahttp://www.fao.org/docrep/006/y5066e/y5066e02.jpg
  32. 32. Nutrient budgets on organic farms a review of published dataN Most organic farms in developed countries do not have nutrient deficits even though they don’t use conventional fertilizers.PK http://www.organic.aber.ac.uk/library/Nutrient%20budgets%20on%20organic%20farms.pdf
  33. 33. Daily inputs and outputs of dry matter, P and N http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/DS096
  34. 34. N P K 20% maintenance 13% maintenance 12% maintenance 20% 27% 13%60% 60% 75% urine feces N 50% 50% P 10% 90% K 90% 10% http://extension.oregonstate.edu/catalog/html/em/em8586/
  35. 35. Nitrogen budget for a dairy in Florida (lbs of N/acre) http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/DS096
  36. 36. Annual manure production and nutrient value for a 100 cow dairyManure constituent Lbs/year/100 cows Probable $ valueRaw manure (feces + urine) 5,045,000Water in fresh manure 4,458,990Total solids 586,000Total N (lb) 23,400 $3,5101Total P (lb) 4,800 $2,8801Total K (lb) 15,100 $2,2651TOTAL VALUE of N, P, and K $8,6551Based on assumed values of $.30/lb N, $.60/lb P, and $.15/lb K; N recovered was 50%of excretion, thus, 50% volatilized.
  37. 37. Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations (CAFOs) in ILThere are ~ 500 “large" CAFOs and ~ 2,700 "Medium" CAFOs in IL.These CAFOs are required to:Apply for a National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES)PermitSubmit an Annual ReportDevelop and implement a manure and wastewater handling plan(Nutrient Management Plan).
  38. 38. In Illinois, there are actually 3 different types of manure management plansthat livestock facilities may be required to have (NRCS, IL DOA, and IL EPA). U of I Extension has worked with NRCS, IL DOA, IL EPA to develop oneworkbook of forms and instructions that when completed by a producer, willcomply with the requirements of all 3 agencies.
  39. 39. NutrientBalanceProblem
  40. 40. Overview of Hislop farm 1500 sow farrow-to-wean operation32,000 piglets (with an average weight of 10 lbs) are sold off the farm each. 1500 acres of crops - 750 acres of corn - 50 %sold off the farm, 750 acres of soybeans – 100% sold off the farm. ~ 1300 tons of feed purchased each year. Manure from the sow operation is applied exclusively to corn ground. Fertilizer is also applied to corn ground.
  41. 41. Nutrient inputs Purchased feedPurchased fertilizerBiological N fixation
  42. 42. Nutrient inputsHow many tons of N, P and K arein 1300 tons of purchased feed ? Feed analysis?N  2% of 1300 tons = ? of NP  0.8% of 1300 tons = ? tons of PK  0.4% of 1300 tons = ? tons of K
  43. 43. Nutrient inputs How many tons of N, P and K are in the purchased fertilizer ? Fertilizer program? Acres? Fertilizer receipts?N  750 acres*100 lbs/acre*1 ton/2000 lbs = ? tons N P  750 acres*25 lbs/acre*1 ton/2000 lbs = ? tons P K  750 acres*50 lbs/acre*1 ton/2000 lbs = ? tons K
  44. 44. Nutrient inputs Biological N fixation ~ 3 lbs of N fixation per bushel of beans750 acres of soybeans*50 bu/acre*3 lbs of N fixation/bu
  45. 45. Total nutrient inputs ∑ Feed Fertilizer Biological N fixation
  46. 46. Nutrient outputs∑ Marketed grain Marketed piglets Environmental losses
  47. 47. Nutrient cycling on-farm Nutrients in manure Nutrients in crop residuesNutrients in 50% of corn grain
  48. 48. You are welcome to analyze your family’s farm or any other farm with which you are affiliated.

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