Effect of Sawdust Age and Nitrogen Application on the Decomposition Rates of Two Types Sawdust Used for Blueberry Production

in HortScience

In a 2-year study, the decomposition rates (changes in carbon to nitrogen ratio) of two kinds of sawdust used for blueberry production were determined. The effects of sawdust age and nitrogen application rates on carbon to nitrogen ratio (C:N ratio) of two sawdust types were evaluated. When nitrogen was not applied, the C:N ratio in fresh and aged sawdust decreased 30% and 10% respectively over a 1-year period, indicating fresh sawdust decomposed faster than aged sawdust when used as a surface mulch. However, the C:N ratios between soils amended with aged and fresh sawdust were similar when no nitrogen was added, suggesting the age of sawdust does not affect the decomposition rate once the sawdust is incorporated into the soil. It was found that two nitrogen application rates (150 kg·ha-1 vs. 50 kg·ha-1) had an equal affect on the C:N ratio of both sawdust types. Nitrogen application had no affect on the C:N ratio of both sawdust types when both sawdust were used as soil amendments. Clearly, the decomposition rates of the sawdust were influenced by sawdust age and nitrogen application rates.

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