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This article in SSSAJ

  1. Vol. 52 No. 5, p. 1322-1326
     
    Received: June 29, 1987


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doi:10.2136/sssaj1988.03615995005200050021x

Evaluation of Nitrogen-15 Tracer Techniques for Direct Measurement of Denitrification in Soil: II. Simulation Studies

  1. R. M. Vanden Heuvel,
  2. R. L. Mulvaney  and
  3. R. G. Hoeft
  1. Dep. of Agronomy, 1102 S. Goodwin Ave., Univ. of Illinois, Urbana, IL 61801

Abstract

Abstract

In mass spectrometric procedures developed at the University of Illinois for determination of 15N-labeled dinitrogen (N2) and nitrous oxide (N2O) evolved from soils, the assumption is made that the nitrate (NO3) undergoing denitrification exists in a single pool that is isotopically uniform. Computer simulation studies were conducted to identify trends associated with errors in measuring denitrification of NO3 that exists in two or more pools having different enrichments. The results indicate that, for a constant mean 15N enrichment, the magnitude of the error increases as the range of enrichment becomes greater and can increase or decrease with increase in the number of NO3 pools, depending upon whether there is an increase in the range of enrichment. The error is also affected by the extent to which evolution is distributed among the various pools, but it does not depend upon the overall evolution rate or the 15N enrichment of the fertilizer applied.

This study was a part of Project ILLU-15-0392, Illinois Agric. Exp. Stn. Part of a dissertation submitted by the senior author in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the doctoral degree. Supported in part by the Tennessee Valley Authority.

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