About Us | Help Videos | Contact Us | Subscriptions

Journal of Environmental Quality Abstract - Wetlands and Aquatic Processes

Denitrification and a Nitrogen Budget of Created Riparian Wetlands


This article in JEQ

  1. Vol. 41 No. 6, p. 2024-2032
    Received: Dec 2, 2011
    Published: October 16, 2012

    * Corresponding author(s): wmitsch@fgcu.edu
Request Permissions

  1. Jacqulyn A. Batsonac,
  2. Ülo Manderb and
  3. William J. Mitsch *ad
  1. a Wilma H. Schiermeier Olentangy River Wetland Research Park, The Ohio State Univ., 352 W. Dodridge St., Columbus, OH 43202
    c current address: U.S. Geological Survey, 12201 Sunrise Valley Dr., MS 430, Reston, VA 20192-0002
    b Dep. of Geography, Institute of Ecology and Earth Sciences, Univ. of Tartu, Estonia
    d current address: Everglades Wetland Research Park, 110 Kapnick Center, Florida Gulf Coast Univ., 4940 Bayshore Dr., Naples FL 34112. Assigned to Associate Editor Pierre-Andre Jacinthe


Riparian wetland creation and restoration have been proposed to mediate nitrate-nitrogen (NO3–N) pollution from nonpoint agricultural runoff. Denitrification by anaerobic microbial communities in wetland soils is believed to be one of the main sinks for NO3–N as it flows through wetlands. Denitrification rates were quantified using an in situ acetylene inhibition technique at 12 locations in three wetland/riverine sites at the Olentangy River Wetland Research Park, Columbus, Ohio for 1 yr. Sites included two created flow-through experimental wetlands and one bottomland forest/river-edge site. Points were spatially distributed at inflows, center, and outflows of the two wetlands to include permanently flooded open water, intermittently flooded transitions, and upland. Annual denitrification rates (median [mean]) were significantly higher (p < 0.001) in permanently flooded zones of the wetlands (266 [415] μg N2O–N m−2 h−1) than in shallower transition zones (58 [37.5] μg N2O–N m−2 h−1). Median wetland transition zone denitrification rates did not differ significantly (p ≥ 0.05) from riverside or upland sites. Denitrification rates peaked in spring; for the months of April through June, median denitrification rates ranged from 240 to 1010 μg N2O–N m−2 h−1 in the permanently flooded zones. A N mass balance analysis showed that surface water flux of N was reduced by 57% as water flowed through the wetland, but only about 3.5% of the N inflow was permanently removed through denitrification. Most N was probably lost through groundwater seepage. Comparison with denitrification rates measured previously in these wetlands suggests that these rates have remained steady over the past 4 to 5 yr.

  Please view the pdf by using the Full Text (PDF) link under 'View' to the left.

Copyright © 2012. Copyright © by the American Society of Agronomy, Crop Science Society of America, and Soil Science Society of America, Inc.