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This article in SSSAJ

  1. Vol. 54 No. 4, p. 1190-1192
    Received: June 19, 1989

    * Corresponding author(s):


Diffusion of Soil Extracts for Nitrogen and Nitrogen-15 Analyses by Automated Combustion/Mass Spectrometry

  1. Ingrid C. Burke ,
  2. Louise A. O'Deen,
  3. Arvin R. Mosier and
  4. Lynn K. Porter
  1. Dep. of Forest and Wood Sciences
    Natural Resources Ecology Lab., Colorado State Univ., Fort Collins, CO 80523
    USDA-ARS, P.O. Box E, Fort Collins, CO 80522



The coupling of automated combustion instruments with mass spectrometry has streamlined total N and 15N analyses of soil and plant materials. New methods are needed for analysis of soil NH4 and NO3 15N to take advantage of the efficiency in automated combustion analysis. We have developed a method to quantitatively determine NO3, NH4, and 15N content of soil extracts by automated combustion/mass spectrometry. Soil extracts are made basic, and diffused into acid-washed zeolite in tin combustion cups. Zeolite samples are then analyzed on the automated combustion/mass spectrometry system for N and 15N. Ammonium- and NO3-N and 15N can be quantitatively recovered and analyzed during this procedure, reliably collecting 97% of the N and 15N in the extract, with a repeatability of ±2%.

Contribution from the Natural Resource Ecology Lab., Colorado State Univ., and USDA-ARS.

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