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Soil Science Society of America Journal Abstract -

Some Effects of Moisture on Denitrification in Acid and Alkaline Soils1


This article in SSSAJ

  1. Vol. 31 No. 2, p. 212-215
    Received: July 19, 1966
    Accepted: Nov 15, 1966

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  1. M. K. Mahendrappa and
  2. R. L. Smith2



Samples of two acid and two alkaline soils were studied to observe the effect of various moisture levels in open or closed systems on denitrification of added nitrate. Under anaerobic conditions, each soil appeared to have specific moisture requirements for maximum denitrification rate. Under fully anaerobic conditions, an increase in moisture content to only 10% above field capacity markedly decreased the time required for complete denitrification as defined by N2 production but had little effect on the disappearance of the nitrate. Further increases in moisture content reversed the trend and increased the time needed for complete denitrification to take place.

It is proposed that some of the moisture effects are attributable to the distribution of organisms and/or N compounds. Part of the effect, however, also may be due to a dilution effect on toxic products produced. Indirect evidence indicated that an intermediate compound or compounds may have been produced but not detected in the analysis scheme.

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