The Influence of Organic Carbon on Nitrogen Transformations in Five Wetland Soils
- Torbj o ¨ rn Emil Davidsson * and
- Mattias Ståhl
Today we see an increased use of wetlands for N removal in agricultural catchments. Since the most important process for nitrate (NO− 3) removal, denitrification, requires organic C, different soils could be expected to be differently suited for wetland construction. In this study, we evaluate the importance of soil organic C and the effects of added dissolved organic C on N transformations in existing and proposed wetlands. We used 15N-labeled NO− 3 to study N transformations in soil columns from five locations (a forest peaty soil, a field peaty soil, a silt loam, a loam, and a sandy loam). All five soils removed NO− 3 at substantial rates (13–73% of the load). The field peaty soil had highest denitrification rate (11 mmol m−2 d−1), while sandy loam soil had the lowest rate (2 mmol m−2 d−1). Dissolved organic C did not seem to limit N removal in the soils, as glucose additions affected N turnover only slightly. The forest peat soil differed from the others by exhibiting low nitrification, and relatively high production of nitrite (NO− 2), probably a result of low pH. Nitrate removal in the field peat soil and the sandy loam soil was counteracted by production of ammonium (NH+ 4) and dissolved organic N, causing net N release. Although there was a positive relationship between soil organic matter and NO− 3 consumption, we conclude that all soils were suited for N removal. The lack of response to glucose additions indicate that there was no short-term lack of electron donor in any of the soils, including the sandy loam soil.Please view the pdf by using the Full Text (PDF) link under 'View' to the left.
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