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What controls the nitrate flush when air dried soils are rewetted?

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Publication details

JournalChemistry and Ecology
DatePublished - 2008
Issue number4
Number of pages9
Pages (from-to)259-267
Original languageEnglish


Changes in nitrification rates of an acid grassland soil with and without air drying have been monitored over 9 days, after first flushing native nitrate from the soils with deionised water. The results confirmed that full re-establishment of nitrification after air drying takes several days, supporting the hypothesis that any immediate first flush of nitrate from air-dried soils originates from cell lysis or flushing of 'stored' nitrate. Ammonium spiking confirmed that nitrification was not ammonium substrate limited. It was also found that ammonium accumulates in the soil during the drying process, providing a substrate pool once the population of nitrifiers has re-established. Over the first week of incubation, nitrate immobilisation was less conspicuous in the soil that had been rewetted after air drying compared with the incubated field moist soil.

    Research areas

  • nitrification, nitrate flush, ammonium, mineral nitrogen, grassland, drying, rewetting, microbial activity, NITROGEN MINERALIZATION, TRANSFORMATIONS, FREQUENCY, FOREST, CARBON

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