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This article in SSSAJ

  1. Vol. 50 No. 1, p. 105-110
    Received: Mar 13, 1985
    Accepted: Sept 6, 1985

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The Spatial Variability of Nitrogen-15 and its Relation to the Variability of Other Soil Properties1

  1. F. Selles,
  2. R. E. Karamanos and
  3. R. G. Kachanoski2



The spatial variability of natural 15N abundance of a cultivated Chernozemic soil and its native prairie counterpart were smaller than that of total N, organic C, and the C/N ratio. Further, the number of samples required to estimate the true mean of total N with a given precision at various probability levels were twofold those required to determine the mean 15N abundance in both soils. The variability of organic C was > 10 times that observed for total N. The results of this study indicate that the spatial variability of the natural 15N abundance of total soil N in the surface horizons may reflect the isotopic composition of the nitrogenous substances entering the soil system or changes in the isotopic composition of soil N due to humification processes, probably induced by variations in topographic and microrelief features of the soil.

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