Abiotic nitrate retention in agroecosystems and a forest soil

B. Fricks, Jason Philip Kaye, R. Seidel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

8 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Agricultural ecosystems are the primary source of nitrate (NO 3 -) pollution in many watersheds. We used a laboratory 15N tracer study with live and gamma irradiated soils to examine the role of land management in abiotic retention of NO 3 - in three agroecosytems and a forest soil. Nitrogen retention was defined as the quantity of 15N that remained in soil following salt extractions. Land management only affected N retention after 15 min of incubation, with forested soils retaining ~4% of the added 15N and agricultural soils retaining < 1%. In all four ecosystems, abiotic retention (retention in gamma irradiated soils) occurred after 1 d (15-20% of the 15N) and 21 d (up to 60% of 15N) of incubation. After 1 and 21 d, 15N retention in irradiated soils was larger than in live soils, revealing a methodological artifact associated with gamma irradiation. While our results show that abiotic reactions can occur in the laboratory, it is unlikely that such high rates of abiotic 15N retention occur in the field. Gamma irradiation appears to impart methodological artifacts that limit its use in partitioning microbial and abiotic N retention in soils.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1137-1141
Number of pages5
JournalSoil Science Society of America Journal
Volume73
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 1 2009

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agricultural ecosystem
agroecosystems
forest soils
forest soil
nitrates
nitrate
soil
land management
gamma radiation
artifact
irradiation
soil salts
incubation
agricultural soils
tracer techniques
pollution
agricultural soil
partitioning
ecosystems
tracer

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Soil Science

Cite this

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abstract = "Agricultural ecosystems are the primary source of nitrate (NO 3 -) pollution in many watersheds. We used a laboratory 15N tracer study with live and gamma irradiated soils to examine the role of land management in abiotic retention of NO 3 - in three agroecosytems and a forest soil. Nitrogen retention was defined as the quantity of 15N that remained in soil following salt extractions. Land management only affected N retention after 15 min of incubation, with forested soils retaining ~4{\%} of the added 15N and agricultural soils retaining < 1{\%}. In all four ecosystems, abiotic retention (retention in gamma irradiated soils) occurred after 1 d (15-20{\%} of the 15N) and 21 d (up to 60{\%} of 15N) of incubation. After 1 and 21 d, 15N retention in irradiated soils was larger than in live soils, revealing a methodological artifact associated with gamma irradiation. While our results show that abiotic reactions can occur in the laboratory, it is unlikely that such high rates of abiotic 15N retention occur in the field. Gamma irradiation appears to impart methodological artifacts that limit its use in partitioning microbial and abiotic N retention in soils.",
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Abiotic nitrate retention in agroecosystems and a forest soil. / Fricks, B.; Kaye, Jason Philip; Seidel, R.

In: Soil Science Society of America Journal, Vol. 73, No. 4, 01.07.2009, p. 1137-1141.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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