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Land-use type and temperature affect gross nitrogen transformation rates in Chinese and Canadian soils

Man Lang, Zu-Cong Cai, Bruno Mary, Xiying Hao and Scott X. Chang
Plant and Soil
Vol. 334, No. 1/2 (September 2010), pp. 377-389
Published by: Springer
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/24130657
Page Count: 13
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Abstract

Land-use type affects gross nitrogen transformation and this information is particularly lacking under varied low temperature conditions. In this study, the effects of land-use type (forest vs. grassland) and temperature (10 vs. 15°C) on gross N transformation rates under aerobic conditions were investigated using the 15N isotope pool dilution technique in the laboratory. Soils were collected from forest and grassland sites in China and Canada. The results showed that gross N mineralization and immobilization rates were significantly higher in forest soils than in grassland soils, while the reverse was true for gross nitrification rates. The higher TC and lower SOCw concentrations in the Chinese soils relative to the Canadian soils were related to the greater gross N mineralization rates and lower gross N immobilization rates in Chinese soils. The greater gross N mineralization rates and lower gross N immobilization rates resulted in much higher inorganic N accumulation and that may increase the risk of NO3- leaching in the Chinese soils. Increasing temperature significantly increased gross nitrification rates in grassland soils and gross N immobilization rates in forest soils, suggesting that grassland soils maybe more vulnerable to N loss through NO3- leaching or denitrification (when conditions for denitrification exist) and that conversion of grassland to forest soils may exert less negative effects on the environment by promoting the retention of N and decreasing the production of NO3- and subsequently the risk of NO3- leaching under increasing temperature by global warming.

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