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This article in SSSAJ

  1. Vol. 42 No. 4, p. 596-599
     
    Received: Dec 9, 1977
    Published: July, 1978


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doi:10.2136/sssaj1978.03615995004200040012x

Factors Affecting Denitrification in a Sonoran Desert Soil1

  1. R. L. Westerman and
  2. T. C. Tucker2

Abstract

Abstract

Incubation studies were conducted to determine the effect of temperature, moisture content, organic C, soil depth, and time on transformations of added 15NO3-N to a Sonoran Desert soil in open and closed systems. In open system studies, increasing temperature from 20° to 37°C, adding organic C, and increasing moisture content from field capacity to saturation increased denitrification losses 16, 22, and 2%, respectively. There were no apparent differences in immobilization of 15NO3-N due to temperature, time, moisture content, or soil depth without organic C amendments. However, immobilization of 15NO3-N soils with organic C amendments was increased markedly with increased temperature and time, but initial moisture content had little effect. At C/N ratios of 150:1 only traces of 15N appeared in NH4-N, however, at C/N ratios of 15:1 to 45:1 ammonification and immobilization occurred simultaneously.

Closed system investigations with organic C and 15NO3-N amendments showed 79% loss in 5 days with the remaining 21% accumulating as organic-15N. Denitrification losses in open systems with soil moisture contents representative of saturated conditions were 70% of the loss observed under closed systems at the same moisture content.

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