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Chinese Journal of Applied Ecology ›› 2023, Vol. 34 ›› Issue (9): 2391-2397.doi: 10.13287/j.1001-9332.202309.012

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Effects of combined natural synergists and chemical inhibitors on yield, nitrogen utilization and balance in wheat/maize rotation system

LI Changqing1,2, JI Meng1,2, MA Mengmeng1,2, WANG Shuo1,2, LIU Huan1, SUN Zhimei1*   

  1. 1College of Resources and Environmental Sciences, Hebei Agricultural University, Baoding 071000, Hebei, China;
    2Key Laboratory for Farmland Eco-Environment of Hebei, Baoding 071000, Hebei, China
  • Received:2023-04-25 Revised:2023-07-14 Online:2023-09-15 Published:2024-03-16

Abstract: Urease inhibitors and nitrification inhibitors can enhance nitrogen (N) fertilizer utilization efficiency and reducing N losses through regulating urea-N transformation. Common urease or nitrification inhibitors, however, are predominantly chemically synthesized and high-cost. Furthermore, their inhibitory effects are mediated by soil pro-perties, climatic conditions, and crop systems. In this study, we conducted a field experiment using natural synergists humic acid/zeolite, along with chemical nitrification inhibitor dicyandiamide (DCD) and their combination to elucidate the impacts of natural synergists combined with chemical inhibitors on annual yield, nitrogen utilization efficiency, soil nitrate-N accumulation, and nitrogen balance within the wheat/maize rotation system. The treatments included no nitrogen fertilizer application (CK), single application of urea (N), urea +DCD (ND), urea + humic acid (NH), urea + zeolite (NP), urea + urease inhibitor N-butylthiophosphoric triamide + DCD (NUD), urea + humic acid + DCD (NHD), and urea + zeolite + DCD (NPD). The results showed that, compared to the treatments NH and NP, the integration of humic acid or zeolite with DCD (NHD and NPD) significantly increased maize yield (11268 and 11397 kg·hm-2) and total annual yield (20494 and 20582 kg·hm-2), which were comparable to those of combined chemical urease and nitrification inhibitors (NUD). The NHD and NPD treatments had higher nitrogen utilization efficiency and lower soil nitrate-N accumulation in 80-100 cm soil layer across all seasons relative to the N treatment, which had no significant difference compared to the NUD treatment. Furthermore, a decline in soil nitrogen surplus by 10.7% and 13.9% was observed when comparing the NHD and NPD treatments with the NH and NP treatments, respectively. These findings suggested that combined humic acid or zeolite and chemical nitrification inhibitors could effectively enhance crop yield and N utilization efficiency and meet the requirements of the green and environmental preservation of modern agriculture.

Key words: humic acid, zeolite, urease inhibitor, nitrification inhibitor, wheat-maize rotation, yield, soil nitrogen surplus