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Soil N availability, rather than N deposition, controls indirect N2O emissions

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Redding, M. R., Shorten, P. R., Lewis, R., Pratt, C., Paungfoo-Lonhienne, C. and Hill, J. (2016) Soil N availability, rather than N deposition, controls indirect N2O emissions. Soil Biology and Biochemistry . ISSN 0038-0717

PDF (Soil N availability)

Article Link: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.soilbio.2016.01.002

Publisher URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0038071716000080


Ammonia volatilised and re-deposited to the landscape is an indirect N2O emission source. This study established a relationship between N2O emissions, low magnitude NH4 deposition (0–30  kg N ha − 1 ), and soil moisture content in two soils using in-vessel incubations. Emissions from the clay soil peaked ( < 0.002 g N [ g soil ] − 1 min − 1 ) from 85 to 93% WFPS (water filled pore space), increasing to a plateau as remaining mineral-N increased. Peak N2O emissions for the sandy soil were much lower ( < 5 × 10 − 5 μg N [ g soil ] − 1 min − 1 ) and occurred at about 60% WFPS, with an indistinct relationship with increasing resident mineral N due to the low rate of nitrification in that soil. Microbial community and respiration data indicated that the clay soil was dominated by denitrifiers and was more biologically active than the sandy soil. However, the clay soil also had substantial nitrifier communities even under peak emission conditions. A process-based mathematical denitrification model was well suited to the clay soil data where all mineral-N was assumed to be nitrified ( R 2 = 90 % ), providing a substrate for denitrification. This function was not well suited to the sandy soil where nitrification was much less complete. A prototype relationship representing mineral-N pool conversions (NO3− and NH4+) was proposed based on time, pool concentrations, moisture relationships, and soil rate constants (preliminary testing only). A threshold for mineral-N was observed: emission of N2O did not occur from the clay soil for mineral-N <70 mg ( kg of soil ) − 1 , suggesting that soil N availability controls indirect N2O emissions. This laboratory process investigation challenges the IPCC approach which predicts indirect emissions from atmospheric N deposition alone.

Item Type:Article
Business groups:Animal Science
Keywords:Nitrous oxide emission Ammonium deposition Soil Denitrifiers Nitrifiers Nitrogen cycling
Live Archive:09 Feb 2016 02:13
Last Modified:03 Sep 2021 16:50

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