Document Type

Thesis - Open Access

Award Date


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Department / School

Agronomy, Horticulture, and Plant Science

First Advisor

David Wright


Understanding soil N transformations in agricultural systems of the Northern Great Plains is crucial for guiding effective soil and nutrient management of this vital cropland. While the use of biochar in agriculture has attracted great attention recently, little has been reported on the seasonal dynamics of soil nitrogen (N) transformation and its response to biochar application. A field experiment was conducted over 2 seasons, spring (6/3/19-6/24/19) and summer (7/26/19-8/16/19), using four treatments or control soil, urea (224 kg N/ha), biochar (46,250 kg/ha), and urea+biochar (224 kg N/ha and 46,250 kg/ha, respectively). The results for both seasons showed biochar had no significant effect on soil N dynamics, such as soil inorganic N content, Net N mineralization rates, pH, Nitrous Oxide (N2O-N), and/or Carbon Dioxide (CO2-C) emissions (p < 0.001). However, temperature was shown to impact soil N mineralization after the biochar application. The higher temperature in the summer promoted soil N mineralization in all treatments. In contrast, the lower temperatures in the spring promoted Net N immobilization in the biochar and control applications without urea. This indicated that the benefits of biochar application may be tied to the season of application. This thesis aimed to determine the relationship between N mineralization and a soil amendment (biochar) in a Brant silty clay loam to gain a greater understanding of N transformations within the soil with and without a biochar amendment.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Soils -- Nitrogen content -- South Dakota.
Soil mineralogy.
Nitrogen in agriculture.


South Dakota State University



Rights Statement

In Copyright