Browsing by Subject "Nitrate"

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  • Vesala, Risto; Kiheri, Heikki; Hobbie, Erik A.; van Dijk, Netty; Dise, Nancy; Larmola, Tuula (2021)
    Peatlands store one third of global soil carbon (C) and up to 15% of global soil nitrogen (N) but often have low plant nutrient availability owing to slow organic matter decomposition under acidic and waterlogged conditions. In rainwater-fed ombrotrophic peatlands, elevated atmospheric N deposition has increased N availability with potential consequences to ecosystem nutrient cycling. Here, we studied how 14 years of continuous N addition with either nitrate or ammonium had affected ericoid mycorrhizal (ERM) shrubs at Whim Bog, Scotland. We examined whether enrichment has influenced foliar nutrient stoichiometry and assessed using N stable isotopes whether potential changes in plant nutrient constraints are linked with plant N uptake through ERM fungi versus direct plant uptake. High doses of ammonium alleviated N deficiency in Calluna vulgaris and Erica tetralix, whereas low doses of ammonium and nitrate improved plant phosphorus (P) nutrition, indicated by the lowered foliar N:P ratios. Root acid phosphatase activities correlated positively with foliar N:P ratios, suggesting enhanced P uptake as a result of improved N nutrition. Elevated foliar delta N-15 of fertilized shrubs suggested that ERM fungi were less important for N supply with N fertilization. Increases in N availability in peat porewater and in direct nonmycorrhizal N uptake likely have reduced plant nitrogen uptake via mycorrhizal pathways. As the mycorrhizal N uptake correlates with the reciprocal C supply from host plants to the soil, such reduction in ERM activity may affect peat microbial communities and even accelerate C loss via decreased ERM activity and enhanced saprotrophic activity. Our results thus introduce a previously unrecognized mechanism for how anthropogenic N pollution may affect nutrient and carbon cycling within peatland ecosystems. (C) 2021 The Authors. Published by Elsevier B.V.
  • Manninen, Sirkku (2018)
    The deposition of reactive nitrogen (N) compounds currently predominates over sulphur (S) deposition in most of the cities in Europe and North America. Acidophytic lichens growing on tree trunks are known to be sensitive to both N and S deposition. Given that tree species and climatic factors affect the composition of epiphytic lichen communities and modify lichen responses to air pollution, this study focused on the impact of urban air pollution on acidophytes growing on boreal conifer trunks. The study was performed in the Helsinki metropolitan area, southern Finland, where annual mean nitrogen dioxide (NO2) concentrations range from 4-5 mu g m(-3) to > 50 mu g m(-3). In addition, background forest sites in southern and northern Finland were included. The results demonstrated elevated N contents (>= 0.7%) in Hypogymnia physodes and Platismatia glauca at all the sites where the species occurred. In the Helsinki metropolitan area, a higher frequency of green algae + Scoliociosporum chlorococcum and reduced numerical frequencies of other indicator lichen species (e.g. Pseudevernia furfuracea, Bryoria spp., Usnea spp.) were associated with elevated atmospheric concentrations of NO2 and particulate matter containing N, as well as elevated concentrations of inorganic N in bark. The N isotope values (delta N-15) of lichens supported the uptake of oxidized N mainly originating from road traffic. Sulphur dioxide (SO2) also negatively affected the most sensitive species, despite the current low levels (1-4 mu g m(-3) yr(-1)). Critical levels of 5 mu g NO2 m(-3) yr(-1) and 0.5 mu g NH3 m(-3) yr(-1), and a critical load of 2-3 kg N ha(-1) yr(-1) are proposed for protecting the diversity of boreal acidophytes. This study calls for measurements of the throughfall of various N fractions in urban forest ecosystems along precipitation and temperature gradients to verify the proposed critical levels and loads. (C) 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
  • Kalu, Subin; Oyekoya, Gboyega N; Ambus, Per; Tammeorg, Priit; Simojoki, Asko; Pihlatie, Mari; Karhu, Kristiina (2021)
    A 15N tracing pot experiment was conducted using two types of wood-based biochars: a regular biochar and a Kon-Tiki-produced nutrient-enriched biochar, at two application rates (1% and 5% (w/w)), in addition to a fertilizer only and a control treatment. Ryegrass was sown in pots, all of which except controls received N-15-labelled fertilizer as either (NH4NO3)-N-15 or (NH4NO3)-N-15. We quantified the effect of biochar application on soil N2O emissions, as well as the fate of fertilizer-derived ammonium (NH4+) and nitrate (NO3-) in terms of their leaching from the soil, uptake into plant biomass, and recovery in the soil. We found that application of biochars reduced soil mineral N leaching and N2O emissions. Similarly, the higher biochar application rate of 5% significantly increased aboveground ryegrass biomass yield. However, no differences in N2O emissions and ryegrass biomass yields were observed between regular and nutrient-enriched biochar treatments, although mineral N leaching tended to be lower in the nutrient-enriched biochar treatment than in the regular biochar treatment. The N-15 analysis revealed that biochar application increased the plant uptake of added nitrate, but reduced the plant uptake of added ammonium compared to the fertilizer only treatment. Thus, the uptake of total N derived from added NH4NO3 fertilizer was not affected by the biochar addition, and cannot explain the increase in plant biomass in biochar treatments. Instead, the increased plant biomass at the higher biochar application rate was attributed to the enhanced uptake of N derived from soil. This suggests that the interactions between biochar and native soil organic N may be important determinants of the availability of soil N to plant growth.
  • Uusheimo, Sari Anneli; Tulonen, Tiina Valpuri; Aalto, Sanni L.; Arvola, Lauri Matti Juhani (2018)
    Constructed agricultural ponds and wetlands can reduce nitrogen loading from agriculture especially in areas where warm climate predominates. However, in cold climate temperature-dependency of microbiological processes have raised the question about the applicability of constructed wetlands in N removal. We measured in situ denitrification rates in a constructed agricultural pond using N-15-isotope pairing technique at ambient light and temperature throughout a year as well as diurnally. The field IPT measurements were combined with a wide set of potentially important explanatory data, including air temperature, photosynthetically active radiation, precipitation, discharge, nitrate plus other water quality variables, sediment temperature, oxygen concentration and penetration depth, diffusive oxygen uptake and sediment organic carbon. Denitrification varied, on average, diurnally between 12 and 314 mu mol N m(-2) h(-1) and seasonally between 0 and 12409 mu mol m(-2) h(-1). Light and oxygen regulated the diel variation of denitrification, but seasonally denitrification was governed by a combination of temperature, oxygen and turbidity. The results indicated that the real N removal rate might be 30-35% higher than the measured daytime rates, suggesting that neglecting the diel variation of denitrification we may underestimate N removal capacity of shallow sediments. We conclude, that by following recommended wetland:catchment - size ratios, boreal agricultural ponds can efficiently remove nitrogen by denitrification in summer and in autumn, while in winter and in spring the contribution of denitrification might be negligible relative to the loading, especially with short residence time.
  • Manninen, Sirkku; Kivimäki, S.; Leith, I. D.; Leeson, S. R.; Sheppard, L. J. (2016)
    Long-term additions of nitrogen (N) to peatlands have altered bryophyte growth, species dominance, N content in peat and peat water, and often resulted in enhanced Sphagnum decomposition rate. However, these results have mainly been derived from experiments in which N was applied as ammonium nitrate (NH4NO3), neglecting the fact that in polluted areas, wet deposition may be dominated either by NO3- or NH4+. We studied effects of elevated wet deposition of NO3- vs. NH4+ alone (8 or 56 kg N ha(-1) yr(-1) over and above the background of 8 kg N ha(-1) yr(-1) for 5 to 11 years) or combined with phosphorus (P) and potassium (K) on Sphagnum quality for decomposers, mass loss, and associated changes in hummock pore water in an ombrotrophic bog (Whim). Adding N, especially as NH4+, increased N concentration in Sphagnum, but did not enhance mass loss from Sphagnum. Mass loss seemed to depend mainly on moss species and climatic factors. Only high applications of N affected hummock pore water chemistry, which varied considerably over time. Overall, C and N cycling in this N treated bog appeared to be decoupled. We conclude that moss species, seasonal and annual variation in climatic factors, direct negative effects of N (NH4+ toxicity) on Sphagnum production, and indirect effects (increase in pH and changes in plant species dominance under elevated NO3- alone and with PK) drive Sphagnum decomposition and hummock C and N dynamics at Whim. (C) 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
  • Uusheimo, Sari Anneli; Tulonen, Tiina Valpuri; Arvola, Lauri Matti Juhani; Arola, Hanna; Linjama, Jarmo; Huttula, Timo (2017)
    Compared with sporadic conventional watersampling, continuous water-quality monitoring with opti-cal sensors has improved our understanding of freshwaterdynamics. The basic principle in photometric measure-ments is the incident light at a given wavelength that iseither reflected, scattered, or transmitted in the body ofwater. Here, we discuss the transmittance measurements.The amount of transmittance is inversely proportional tothe concentration of the substance measured. However, thetransmittance is subject to interference, because it can beaffected by factors other than the substance targeted in thewater. In this study, interference with the UV/Vis sensornitrate plus nitrite measurements caused by organic carbonwas evaluated. Total or dissolved organic carbon as well asnitrate plus nitrite concentrations were measured in variousboreal waters with two UV/Vis sensors (5-mm and 35-mmpathlengths), using conventional laboratory analysis re-sults as references. Organic carbon increased the sensornitrate plus nitrite results, not only in waters with highorganic carbon concentrations, but also at the lower con-centrations (< 10 mg C L−1) typical of boreal stream, river,and lake waters. Our results demonstrated that local cali-bration with multiple linear regression, including bothnitrate plus nitrite and dissolved organic carbon, can cor-rect the error caused by organic carbon. However, high-frequency optical sensors continue to be excellent tools forenvironmental monitoring when they are properly calibrat-ed for the local water matrix.
  • Karhu, Kristiina; Kalu, Subin; Seppänen, Aino; Kitzler, Barbara; Virtanen, Eetu (2021)
    Addition of biochar to soil has been shown to reduce nitrogen (N) leaching in pot experiments, but direct field measurements are scarce, and data is lacking especially from colder, boreal conditions. We studied the effect of soil organic amendments on nitrate (NO3-) and ammonium (NH4+) leaching using the resin bag method, by placing the bags containing ion-exchange resins under the plough layer. We compared N leaching under five different treatments at the Päästösäästö project site (Soilfood Oy) in Parainen, south-western Finland: non-fertilized control, fertilized control, and three different organic amendments: spruce biochar, willow biochar and nutrient fiber. During the 2017 growing season, resin bags were changed monthly between the end of May and beginning of September, extracted with 1 M NaCl, and analyzed for inorganic N. The daily leaching rate of NO3- was greatest at the beginning of the growing season, right after fertilization. Ammonium leaching was generally lower, and independent of the time since fertilization. The spruce biochar reduced cumulative NO3- leaching by 68% compared to the fertilized control. The NH4+leaching in the organic amendment treatments did not statistically significantly differ from the fertilized control in pairwise comparisons. In October 2017, after harvesting, the resin bags were placed under soil columns again, and left in the soil over winter to accumulate N leached during the plant-free period. Cumulative NO3- leaching during winter was consistent with the corresponding summer results, and average leaching decreased in the order: willow biochar >fertilized control >nutrient fiber >non-fertilized control >spruce biochar. Thus, we show here, for the first time in a field study from boreal conditions that spruce biochar soil application decreased nitrate leaching, while increasing its retention in the surface layer of the biochar-amended soil.
  • Laine, Merjo Piia Päivikki; Rütting, Tobias; Alakukku, Laura Elina; Palojärvi, Ansa; Strömmer, Rauni Hannele (2018)
    No-till is considered an agricultural practice beneficial for the environment as soil erosion is decreased compared to ploughed soils. For on overall evaluation of the benefits and disadvantages of this crop production method, understanding the soil nutrient cycle is also of importance. The study was designed to obtain information about gross soil nitrogen (N) process rates in boreal no-tilled and mouldboard ploughed spring barley (Hordeum vulgare L.) fields after autumn harvesting. In situ soil gross N transformation process rates were quantified for the 5 cm topsoil in 9 days' incubation experiment using N-15 pool dilution and tracing techniques and a numerical N-15 tracing model. Gross N mineralization into ammonium (NH4+) and NH4+ immobilization were the most important N transformation processes in the soils. The gross mineralization rate was 14% and NH4+ immobilization rate 64% higher in no-till than in ploughing. Regardless of the faster mineralization, the gross rate of NH4+ oxidation into nitrate (NO3-) in no-till was one order of magnitude lower compared the ploughing. The results indicate that the no-tilled soils have the potential to decrease the risk for NO3- leaching due to slower NH4+ oxidation.
  • Venter, Andrew D.; van Zyl, Pieter G.; Beukes, Johan P.; Swartz, Jan-Stefan; Josipovic, Miroslav; Vakkari, Ville; Laakso, Lauri; Kulmala, Markku (2018)
    Aerosols consist of organic and inorganic species, and the composition and concentration of these species depends on their sources, chemical transformation and sinks. In this study an assessment of major inorganic ions determined in three aerosol particle size ranges collected for 1year at Welgegund in South Africa was conducted. SO42- and ammonium (NH4+) dominated the PM1 size fraction, while SO42- and nitrate (NO3) dominated the PM1-2.5 and PM2.5-10 size fractions. SO42- had the highest contribution in the two smaller size fractions, while NO3- had the highest contribution in the PM2.5-10 size fraction. SO42- and NO3- levels were attributed to the impacts of aged air masses passing over major anthropogenic source regions. Comparison of inorganic ion concentrations to levels thereof within a source region influencing Welgegund, indicated higher levels of most species within the source region. However, the comparative ratio of SO42- was significantly lower due to SO42- being formed distant from SO2 emissions and submicron SO42- having longer atmospheric residencies. The PM at Welgegund was determined to be acidic, mainly due to high concentrations of SO42-. PM1 and PM1-2.5 fractions revealed a seasonal pattern, with higher inorganic ion concentrations measured from May to September. Higher concentrations were attributed to decreased wet removal, more pronounced inversion layers trapping pollutants, and increases in household combustion and wild fires during winter. Back trajectory analysis also revealed higher concentrations of inorganic ionic species corresponding to air mass movements over anthropogenic source regions.