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Drought Effects on Nitrogen Provisioning in Different Agricultural Systems: Insights Gained and Lessons Learned from a Field Experiment

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Ecology, Department of Biology, University of Konstanz, 78464 Konstanz, Germany
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Department of Soil Sciences, Research Institute of Organic Agriculture (FiBL), 5070 Frick, Switzerland
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Zhejiang Provincial Key Laboratory of Plant Evolutionary Ecology and Conservation, Taizhou University, Taizhou 318000, China
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Animal Ecology, J.F. Blumenbach Institute for Zoology and Anthropology, University of Göttingen, 37073 Göttingen, Germany
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Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Stephen Macko
Received: 25 November 2020 / Revised: 22 December 2020 / Accepted: 8 January 2021 / Published: 12 January 2021
Most nitrogen (N) in organic fertilizers must be mineralized to become available to plants, a process in which microorganisms play crucial roles. Droughts may impact microorganisms associated with the N cycle, negatively affecting N mineralization and plant N supply. The effects of drought on N-related processes may further be shaped by the farming system. We buried 15N-enriched plant material and reduced precipitation in conventionally and organically (biodynamically) managed wheat fields. On two sampling dates, we evaluated the soil water content, plant parameters and the plants’ 15N isotope signature. We intended to study the microbial communities associated with the N cycle to link potential treatment effects on plant N provisioning with characteristics of the underlying microbial community. However, floods impaired the experiment after the first sampling date, and the molecular work on the microbial communities was not performed. Focusing on the pre-flooding sampling date, our data suggested that processes associated with N transformation are sensitive to drought, but the role of the farming system needs further investigation. Since the underlying research question, the set-up and the lessons learned from this study may guide future experiments, we presented improvements to the set-up and provided ideas for additional analyses, hoping to promote research on this topic. View Full-Text
Keywords: DOK trial; stable isotope; drought; rainout shelter; agriculture; nitrogen DOK trial; stable isotope; drought; rainout shelter; agriculture; nitrogen
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MDPI and ACS Style

Kundel, D.; Lori, M.; Fliessbach, A.; van Kleunen, M.; Meyer, S.; Mäder, P. Drought Effects on Nitrogen Provisioning in Different Agricultural Systems: Insights Gained and Lessons Learned from a Field Experiment. Nitrogen 2021, 2, 1-17. https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/nitrogen2010001

AMA Style

Kundel D, Lori M, Fliessbach A, van Kleunen M, Meyer S, Mäder P. Drought Effects on Nitrogen Provisioning in Different Agricultural Systems: Insights Gained and Lessons Learned from a Field Experiment. Nitrogen. 2021; 2(1):1-17. https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/nitrogen2010001

Chicago/Turabian Style

Kundel, Dominika, Martina Lori, Andreas Fliessbach, Mark van Kleunen, Svenja Meyer, and Paul Mäder. 2021. "Drought Effects on Nitrogen Provisioning in Different Agricultural Systems: Insights Gained and Lessons Learned from a Field Experiment" Nitrogen 2, no. 1: 1-17. https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/nitrogen2010001

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