Full TGIF Record # 19695
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Author(s):Potter, D. A.; Gordon, F. C.; Bridges, B.; Powell, A. J.
Title:Effect of nitrogen fertilization on earthworms and microarthropod decomposers in Kentucky bluegrass turf
Source:Kentucky Turfgrass Research. 1983, p. 29.
Publishing Information:Lexington, KY: University of Kentucky, College of Agriculture, Cooperative Extension Service
Keywords:TIC Keywords: Poa pratensis; Arthropoda; Earthworms; Soil fauna; Acari; Soil pH; Thatch accumulation; Thatch decomposition; Nitrogen fertilizers; Ammonium nitrate; Fertilization rates; Non-target effects
Abstract/Contents:1983 study to determine the influence of prolonged fertilization on populations of earthworms, Collembola, and acarine decomposers in Kentucky bluegrass, and to relate these effects to changes in soil pH and thatch accumulation. Six rates of ammonium nitrate fertilizer (0 to 2.5 kg/are) (= about 0 to 5 lbs/1,000 sq. ft.) were applied annually for 7 years to replicate 'Kenblue' Kentucky bluegrass (Poa pratensis L.) plots growing on a Maury silt loam in Lexington, Kentucky. Earthworms and soil microarthropods were sampled in May and October 1983. Increasing the rate of nitrogen resulted in a significant decline in soil and thatch pH and in exchangeable calcium and potassium, and caused a significant increase in thatch. Regression analysis indicated a highly significant linear decrease in earthworm density and biomass as annual rates of nitrogen increased. Collembola (Springtails) were more abundant at an intermediate fertilizer rate, whereas Acaridae were unaffected by nitrogen. Oribatida, predominantly Scheloribates sp., were the most abundant arthropod decomposers in the turf. Each of the seven orbatid mite species differed in its response to nitrogen. The study indicates that when nitrogen is applied to Kentucky bluegrass at rates sufficient to cause soil acidification, earthworms and certain other decomposers may be severely reduced. Thatch accumulation was inversely correlated with earthworm density and biomass, although other factors, including increased growth and decreased microbial degradation, also contributed to thatch development.
ASA/CSSA/SSSA Citation (Crop Science-Like - may be incomplete):
Potter, D. A., F. C. Gordon, B. Bridges, and A. J. Powell. 1983. Effect of nitrogen fertilization on earthworms and microarthropod decomposers in Kentucky bluegrass turf. KY. Turfgrass Res. p. 29.
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