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Chemosphere. 2010 Apr;79(6):620-7. doi: 10.1016/j.chemosphere.2010.02.029. Epub 2010 Mar 3.

Effect of cattle slurry pre-treatment by separation and addition of nitrification inhibitors on gaseous emissions and N dynamics: a laboratory study.

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Escola Superior Agrária de Viseu, Instituto Politécnico de Viseu, Quinta da Alagoa, 3500-606 Viseu, Portugal.


The application of untreated or treated animal manure to soils can result in increased N and C gaseous emissions contributing to ecosystem change and global warming. In the present study, dairy cattle slurry (liquid manure) was subjected first to pre-treatment by separation using a screw press to obtain a liquid (LF) and a solid fraction (SF). Then, the different fractions and the whole slurry (WS) were combined with two nitrification inhibitors (NI), dicyandiamide (DCD) or 3,4-dimethylpyrazole phosphate (DMPP), were applied to soil to assess the effect of slurry treatment by separation and NI addition on soil N dynamics and CH4, CO2, NH3, NO and N2O emissions. The WS and the two slurry fractions, combined or not with DCD or DMPP, were applied to soil at an equivalent field dosage of 120 kg total N ha(-1). Controls including a soil only, soil-DCD and soil-DMPP treatments were also included. The mixtures were incubated for 93-d at 20 degrees C. Results obtained show that NI inhibited nitrification between 16 and 30-d in WS and LF, with DMPP having a longer effect over time compared to DCD. There was no significant effect of NI on nitrification for the SF treatment. Nitrification inhibitors did not significantly affect (P>0.05) the CH4, CO2 and N2O emissions, but significantly decreased (P<0.05) NO emissions. Furthermore, the two NIs had a similar effect on gaseous emissions. Throughout the entire experiment, the greatest amount of NO was released from the LF treatment (without NI), while the greatest amount of N2O was released from the SF treatment. Slurry separation had no impact on N emissions, while the combination of this process with one of the two NI led to a small reduction in total N emissions.

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