Transformations of nitrogen at the interface between the topsoil and an impervious clay subsoil

A - Papers appearing in refereed journals

Murray, P. J., Hatch, D. J., Dixon, E. R., Granger, S. J., O'Prey, C., Stevens, R. J., Laughlin, R. J. and Jarvis, S. C. 2004. Transformations of nitrogen at the interface between the topsoil and an impervious clay subsoil. Water, Air, & Soil Pollution: Focus. 4 (6), pp. 45-52.

AuthorsMurray, P. J., Hatch, D. J., Dixon, E. R., Granger, S. J., O'Prey, C., Stevens, R. J., Laughlin, R. J. and Jarvis, S. C.
Abstract

Much work has been done on gaseous emissions and leaching of nitrogenous compounds from whole soil profiles and also from soil surface measurements which are assumed to be mainly due to topsoil activity. In soils with an impervious clay subsoil, the boundary between the topsoil and subsoil may provide an interface for microbial activity, including N transformations. In this study, we investigated movement and transformations of two reactive N species (nitrate and urea) at the subsoil interface using a series of replicate, intact soil blocks, under two contrasting watering regimes. We measured fluxes in both liquid and gaseous phases and demonstrated that nitrate reaching the subsoil interface does not necessarily leach into water systems, but may denitrify immediately and could, therefore, add to atmospheric pollution through N2O production. On the other hand, ammonium reaching the subsoil interface either directly, or after mineralization, appears to be more mobile than expected and has the potential to pollute watercourses.

Keywords15N; Ammonium; Denitrification; Leaching; Nitrate; nitrite; Nitrous Oxide; subsoil; Urea
Year of Publication2004
JournalWater, Air, & Soil Pollution: Focus
Journal citation4 (6), pp. 45-52
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)doi:10.1007/s11267-005-3012-1
Open accessPublished as non-open access
FunderBiotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council
Natural Environment Research Council
Funder project or codeSoil Science and Environmental Quality (SSEQ)
Output statusPublished
Copyright licensePublisher copyright
ISSN1573-2940
PublisherSpringer

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