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Denitrification rate determined by nitrate disapperance is higher than determined by nitrous oxide production with acetylene blockage

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A mixed beech and spruce forest soil was incubated under potential denitrification assay (PDA) condition with 10% acetylene (C2H2) in the headspace of soil slurry bottles. Nitrous oxide (N2O) concentration in the headspace, as well as nitrate, nitrite and ammonium concentrations in the soil slurries were monitored during the incubation. Results show that nitrate disappearance rate was higher than N2O production rate with C2H2 blockage during the incubation. Sum of nitrate, nitrite, and N2O with C2H2 blockage could not recover the original soil nitrate content, showing an N imbalance in such a closed incubation system. Changes in nitrite and ammonium concentration during the incubation could not account for the observed faster nitrate disappearance rate and the N imbalance. Non-determined nitric oxide (NO) and N2 production could be the major cause, and the associated mechanisms could vary for different treatments. Commonly applied PDA measurement likely underestimates the nitrate removal capacity of a system. Incubation time and organic matter/nitrate ratio are the most critical factors to consider using C2H2 inhibition technique to quantify denitrification. By comparing the treatments with and without an antibiotic, the results suggest that microbial N uptake probably played a minor role in N balance, and other denitrifying enzymes but nitrate reductase could be substantially synthesized during the incubation.
OriginalsprogEngelsk
TidsskriftEcological Engineering: The Journal of Ecotechnology
Vol/bind32
Udgave nummer1
Sider (fra-til)90-96
Antal sider7
ISSN0925-8574
DOI
StatusUdgivet - 2008

ID: 8694894