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This article in SSSAJ

  1. Vol. 36 No. 4, p. 594-596
    Received: Feb 10, 1972
    Accepted: Apr 18, 1972

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Gaseous Losses of Nitrogen from Freshly Wetted Desert Soils1

  1. A. N. Macgregor2



On the basis of manometric data and mass spectrometer analyses, N2 and N2O were formed when samples from the dry surface of two semiarid soils were moistened and incubated under argon for 22 to 42 hours at 38C.

Of the endogenous soil nitrate-N present in each soil, approximately 60% was volatilized by Pima clay loam (agriculture soil) and 0.6% was volatilized by Sonoita sandy loam (virgin desert soil). When either soil was amended with organic carbon, more gaseous nitrogen (N2 and N2O) was evolved than could be accounted for in terms of the initial level of endogenous nitrate.

In 15N-experiments, N2O was derived primarily from nitrate. However, although significant amounts of N2O were evolved by both soils, much of the N2O was unlabelled further suggesting nonnitrate sources play a role in volatilization of nitrogen from the soils under study.

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