Paddy and Water Environment

, Volume 17, Issue 1, pp 45–51 | Cite as

Ammonia volatilization and nitrogen leaching following top-dressing of urea from water-saving irrigated rice field: impact of two-split surge irrigation

  • Junzeng XuEmail author
  • Boyi Liu
  • Haiyu Wang
  • Wenhao Liu
  • Yawei Li
  • Yubin Dai
  • Tao Lu
Technical Report


To test whether it is possible to change the nitrogen losses during top-dressing of urea in water-saving irrigated rice field by appropriate irrigation management, two-split surge irrigation (SI) was designed to bring more top-dressed urea into rhizosphere soil and investigate ammonia volatilization (AV) and nitrogen leaching compared with farmers’ flooding practice (FFP). Cumulative AV losses of 1 week after three top-dressing of urea under SI treatment were estimated as 4.92, 9.29, and 2.51 kg N ha−1, which was decreased by 27.75%, 18.10%, and 28.53%, respectively. Concentrations of ammonium, nitrate, and total nitrogen in soil solutions collected at 40–50 cm beneath soil surface under SI treatment, which were measured to evaluate the amount of nitrogen leaching, were increased by 0.46, 0.07 and 0.92 kg N ha−1, respectively. The SI treatment achieved higher grain yield by 0.33 t ha−1 over FFP treatment. Results indicated that the SI water regime during top-dressing of urea reduced AV losses greatly at the cost of increasing nitrogen leaching losses. Considering that nitrogen losses from AV after top-dressing of urea were generally 4–5 times of those from nitrogen leaching losses, the sum of nitrogen losses in volatilization and leaching were reduced in the SI treatment compared to the FFP treatment. In conclusion, two-split surge irrigation is helpful in reducing nitrogen losses after top-dressing of urea and improving grain yield.


Ammonia volatilization Nitrogen leaching Top-dressing Urea Two-split surge irrigation 



Funding was provided by National Key Research and Development Plan (Grant No. 2016YFC0400103), Jiangsu Province Water Conservancy Science and Technology Project (Grant No. 2018065) and National Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant No. 51879075).


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Copyright information

© The International Society of Paddy and Water Environment Engineering 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.State Key Laboratory of Hydrology-Water Resources and Hydraulic EngineeringHohai UniversityNanjingChina
  2. 2.College of Agricultural EngineeringHohai UniversityNanjingChina
  3. 3.Bureau of Water ConservancyKunshanChina

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