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Soil Science Society of America Journal Abstract -

The Effect of Partial Pressure of Oxygen on Denitrification in Soil1


This article in SSSAJ

  1. Vol. 24 No. 4, p. 283-285
    Received: Oct 14, 1959
    Accepted: Apr 29, 1960

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  1. F. E. Allison,
  2. J. N. Carter and
  3. Luann D. Sterling2



Laboratory experiments with Branchville sandy loam fertilized with nitrate salts showed that only trace losses of nitrogen occurred by denitrification when small samples were kept in air at approximately ⅓ atm. moisture content. This was true in both the presence and absence of up to 1% glucose or 2% wheat straw. When soils were aerated for 1 to 3 weeks with nitrogen gas containing 2.27% oxygen the losses of nitrogen were significant in about half of the tests and not in the others. When the oxygen partial pressure was only 0.46% the losses of nitrogen were as high as 10% of the added nitrate in the absence of any energy source and 50% in the presence of 0.5% glucose. Although appreciable denitrification did not occur until the oxygen partial pressure was much reduced, it is pointed out that under field conditions some denitrification would be expected at times even in open, well-drained soils.

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