Data was assembled from experiments on the fate of15N-labelled fertilizer applied to wheat (Triticum spp.) grown in different parts of the world. These data were then ranked according to the annual precipitation-evaporation quotient for each experimental location calculated from the average long-term values of precipitation and potential evaporation. Percentage recovery of15N fertilizer in crop and soil varied with location in accordance with the precipitation-evaporation quotient. In humid environments more15N fertilizer was recovered in the crop than in the soil, while in dry environments more15N fertilizer was recovered in the soil than in the crop. Irrespective of climatic differences between locations 20% (on average) of the15N fertilizer applied to wheat crops was unaccounted for at harvest. Most of the15N fertilizer remaining in the soil was found in the 0–30 cm layer. The most likely explanation of these differences is that wheat grown in dry environments has a greater root:shoot ratio than wheat grown in humid environments and, further, that the residue of dryland crops have higher C/N ratios. Both factors could contribute to the greater recovery of15N fertilizer in the soil in dry environments than in humid ones.
Pilbeam, C.J. Effect of climate on the recovery in crop and soil of15N-labelled fertilizer applied to wheat. Fertilizer Research (1996) 45 (3) 209-215. [DOI: 10.1007/BF00748591]