Effects Of Flooding Cycles In The Pantanal On The Turnover Of Soil Nitrogen Pools And Emission Of N2O

European Geoscience Union
Publication Type:
Journal Article
Biogeosciences Discussion, 2011, 8 (3), pp. 5991 - 6030
Issue Date:
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The global nitrous oxide (N2O) budget remains unbalanced. Currently, ~25 % of the global N2O emission is ascribed to uncultivated tropical soils, but the exact locations and controlling mechanisms are not clear. In this study, we present the first detailed study of the dynamics of soil nitrogen pools and flux of N2O from the world's largest wetland Pantanal, South America. At three long-term measurement sites we measured porewater pH, NO3, NH4+ , N2O and O2 as well as N2O dynamics in soil slurry, and in situ fluxes of N2O and CO2. The pool of inorganic nitrogen changed (7.192 µg NH4+-N g dw-1, and 0.1201 µg NO3-N g dw1) with the seasonal flooding and drying cycles, indicating dynamic shifts between ammonification, nitrification and denitrification. In the field, O2 penetrated to a depth of 60 cm in dry soil, but O2 was rapidly depleted in response to precipitation. Soil pH fluctuated from pH 77.5 in flooded soil to pH 3.54.5 in the same drained soil. Microsensor measurements showed rapid N2O accumulation reaching >5001000 Pa in soil slurries due to incomplete denitrification. In situ fluxes of N2O were comparable to heavily fertilized forest or agricultural soils. The dominating parameter affecting N2O emission rate was precipitation inducing peak emissions of >3 mmol N2O m-2 d-1, while the mean daily flux was 0.43 mmol N2O m-2 d-1. Single measurement based screening of in situ activity at 10 Pantanal sites during dry conditions averaged 0.39 mmol N2O m-2 d-1
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