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Lecture 4

ENVS 4012 Lecture 4: ENVSweek4

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University of Guelph
Environmental Sciences
ENVS 4012
Kim Bolton

Review: Name the 3 important plant macronutrients: Nitrogen, phosphorous, potassium (N, P, K) Name one micronutrient: zinc Soils provide an unlimited supply of bioavailable plant nutrients: false Describe a soil “condition” where you find nutrient deficiencies: sandy soil, soil that has been intensively cropped The biochemical transformation of nitrogen gas to soil nitrogen is called? Nitrogen fixation Nitrate isn’t held well by soils because its negative charged Phosphourous is also negatively charged, but combines with other insoluable*held strongly in soils, but not heavily available in bio Soil Potassium Importance of K • Important in synthesis of proteins, carbohydrates and chlorophyll; helps plants to adapt to environmental stress • Soils are negatively charged • Can be held and released by soils Bioavailable forms • Potassium cation (K+) in solution Additions (of nutrients to soil) • Added fertilizer • Added organic matter • Atmospheric deposition Losses (loss of nutrients) • Leaching • Erosion/ run-off • Plant uptake and harvest N, P, K Management Organic fertilizers • Animal manure • Green manure and other plant residues • Biosolids (sewage sludge) and other urban/industrial wastes Most come from Inorganic Fertilizers • Inorganic=fertilizers comes from things other than living things • It is manufactured th • Increased use during the latter half of the 20 century • Economic and environmental implications • Mismanagement of inorganic has lead to euphorication • Manufacturing fertilizers take a huge amount of energy, fossil fuels and electrical energy • Benefits: increase yield, their N, P and K % is way higher than organic fertilizers, these % are precise because they are managed Where do fertilizers come from? • Mostly come from rocks (except nitrogen) N comes from the atmosphere • N2 + 3H2 2NH3 (nitrogen + hydrogen= ammonium (identify as Haber-Bosch Process) • Very energy intensive process Fritz Haber • German physical chemist • Developed “chemically fixation” process in 1909 • End of 19 century source of N was mostly found in Chile, but the limited amount of supply would not meet future demands • Won the Nobel Prize in 1918 • Carl Bosch made it a more economically viable process Inorganic P fertilizers • Phosphorous comes from phosphate rock • Potash is source of potassium • Takes a lot of energy to crush the rocks Mixed Fertilizers- N, P, K • 5% by weight total N • 20% by weight citrate soluble • 10% by weight World Fertilizer Consumption • Fertilizer consumption has gone up, significantly increas
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