Application of a triple 15N tracing technique to elucidate N transformations in a UK grassland soil

A - Papers appearing in refereed journals

Loick, N., Dixon, E. R., Matthews, G. P., Muller, C., Ciganda, V. S., Lopez-Aizpun, M., Repullo, M. A. and Cardenas, L. M. 2021. Application of a triple 15N tracing technique to elucidate N transformations in a UK grassland soil. Geoderma. p. 114844. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.geoderma.2020.114844

AuthorsLoick, N., Dixon, E. R., Matthews, G. P., Muller, C., Ciganda, V. S., Lopez-Aizpun, M., Repullo, M. A. and Cardenas, L. M.
Abstract

To identify the production and consumption pathways and temporal dynamics of N2O emitted from soil, this study uses 15N labelled substrate-N to quantify the underlying gross N transformation rates using the Ntrace analysis tool and link them to N-emissions. In three experiments twelve soil cores each were incubated in a lab incubation system to measure gaseous emissions, while parallel incubations under the same conditions were set up for destructive soil sampling at 7 time points. Using the triple labelling technique (applying NH4NO3 with either the NH4+-N or the NO3--N, or both being 15N labelled), this study investigated the effects of 55, 70 and 85% water filled pore space (deemed to promote nitrification, both nitrification and denitrification, and denitrification, respectively) in a clay soil on gaseous N emissions and investigates the source and processes leading to N2O emissions. To assess the utilisation of applied NO3 - vs. nitrified NO3- from applied NH4+, the 15N tracing tool Ntrace was used to quantify the rates of immobilisation of NO3- and NH4+, oxidation of NH4+, mineralisation of organic N and subsequent nitrification by the analysis of the 15N in the soil. Gross transformation rates were calculated, indicating the relative importance of added NO3- and NO3- derived from nitrified added NH4+. Results show an important contribution of heterotrophic nitrification (organic N oxidation to NO3-) which was highest at the 55% water filled pore space (WFPS), decreasing in its contribution to N-transformation processes with increasing WFPS, while nitrification (NH4+ oxidation to NO3-) was contributing the most at 70% WFPS. The contribution of denitrification increased with increasing WFPS, but only became dominant at 85% WFPS. While denitrification still showed to be most important at high and nitrification at lower WFPS, the actual % WFPS values were not as expected and highlight the fact that WFPS is a contributor, but not the sole/most important parameter determining the type of N63 transformation processes taking place.

KeywordsNitrous oxide; Denitrification; Nitrification; Heterotrophic nitrification
Year of Publication2021
JournalGeoderma
Journal citationp. 114844
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.1016/j.geoderma.2020.114844
Open accessPublished as green open access
FunderBiotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council
Funder project or codeElucidating the importance of the pools of nitrate in soils on denitrification
S2N - Soil to Nutrition - Work package 1 (WP1) - Optimising nutrient flows and pools in the soil-plant-biota system
S2N - Soil to Nutrition - Work package 2 (WP2) - Adaptive management systems for improved efficiency and nutritional quality
Output statusPublished
Publication dates
Online02 Dec 2020
Publication process dates
Accepted13 Nov 2020
PublisherElsevier Science Bv
ISSN0016-7061

Permalink - https://repository.rothamsted.ac.uk/item/98297/application-of-a-triple-15n-tracing-technique-to-elucidate-n-transformations-in-a-uk-grassland-soil

Restricted files

Publisher's version

Under embargo indefinitely

Accepted author manuscript

Under embargo until 02 Dec 2021

25 total views
1 total downloads
13 views this month
0 downloads this month