Photo K. Dhanji/ILRI

Gross nitrogen transformation rates do not support previously described BNI capacities of selected Brachiaria genotypes

Nitrification is one of the key processes leading to water contamination and greenhouse gas emissions (N2O) in pasture systems. As vast areas of tropical pastures are nitrogen (N) limited, grasses from the Brachiaria genus have adapted to reduce N losses and increase N use efficiency by releasing substances capable of biological nitrification inhibition (BNI) in the rhizosphere. Although the release of BNI compounds and its impact on N2O emissions and net nitrification rates in soil have been studied, the impact of BNI on gross nitrogen transformation rates has not been addressed, despite its relevance to mechanistic understanding of this phenomena.