C-N elemental and isotopic investigation in agricultural soils

insights on the effects of zeolitite amendments

Giacomo Ferretti*, Dario Di Giuseppe, Claudio Natali, Barbara Faccini, Gianluca Bianchini, Massimo Coltorti

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

10 Citations (Scopus)


In this paper we present an elemental and isotopic investigation of carbon and nitrogen in the soil-plant system. Plants grown in an unamended soil were compared to plants grown in a soil amended with natural and NH4+-enriched zeolitites. The aim was to verify that zeolitites at natural state increase the chemical fertilization efficiency and the nitrogen transfer from NH4+-enriched zeolitites to plants. Results showed that plants grown on plots amended with zeolitites have generally a δ15N approaching that of chemical fertilizers, suggesting an enhanced nitrogen uptake from this specific N source with respect to the unamended plot. The δ15N of plants grown on NH4+-enriched zeolitites was strongly influenced by pig-slurry δ15N (employed for the enrichment process), confirming the nitrogen transfer from zeolitites to plants. The different agricultural practices are also reflected in the plant physiology as recorded by the carbon discrimination factor, which generally increases in plots amended with natural zeolitites, indicating better water/nutrient conditions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)45-52
Number of pages8
JournalChemie der Erde - Geochemistry
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2017
Externally publishedYes


  • natural zeolitites
  • NH-enriched zeolitites
  • δ¹⁵N
  • δ¹³C
  • amendments
  • soil-plant interactions
  • chabazite

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