Olatuyi, S. O., Akinremi, O. O., Flaten, D. N. and Lobb, D. A. 2012. Solute transport in a hummocky landscape: I. Two-dimensional redistribution of bromide. Can. J. Soil Sci. 92: 609-629. Bromide has been widely used in field studies to estimate nitrate leaching in agricultural soils. This study examined the impacts of crop response to nitrogen fertilization on the vertical and lateral redistribution of bromide in the fall and spring seasons in a hummocky landscape. The study was carried out near Brandon, Manitoba, in 2007 and 2008, using two separate plots (Site-2007 and Site-2008). The plots were delineated into three landscape positions as upper (UPP), middle (MID) and lower (LOW) slope. A microplot at each landscape position received 15N labelled fertilizer (KNO3) at the rates of 0, 90 and 135 kg N ha-1, and KBr at the rate of 200 kg Br- ha-1. Site-2007 was seeded to canola while Site-2008 was seeded to winter wheat. Soil samples were taken within the microplot to a depth of 120 cm for vertical distribution, and up to 200 cm away from the microplot for lateral distribution of Br- in the top 20 cm depth. The downward movement of Br- in the soil was reduced under N fertilization. This resulted in the accumulation of Br- in fertilized plots, and a greater lateral movement of Br- in fertilized compared with unfertilized plots. The greatest vertical and lateral movement of Br- occurred at the LOW slope position. In the fall season following Br- application, 55 and 15% of the Br- applied were recovered in the vertical and lateral components of the landscape, respectively. Estimated loss of Br- due to vertical and lateral movement was 47% in the unfertilized treatment and 36% with N fertilization. The order of Br- loss in the two dimensions was: LOW (48%)>MID (40%)>UPP (37%). The study shows that crop response to N fertilization reduced the vertical movement of solute, thereby providing an experimental support for the “Campbell hypothesis”which states that N fertilization and proper rate of N application reduces nitrate leaching.
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Vol. 92 • No. 4