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Article

Carbon Availability and Nitrogen Mineralization Control Denitrification Rates and Product Stoichiometry during Initial Maize Litter Decomposition

1
Section of Plant Nutrition and Crop Physiology, Department of Crop Science, University of Göttingen, 37073 Göttingen, Germany
2
Thünen Institute of Climate-Smart Agriculture, Federal Research Institute for Rural Areas, Forestry and Fisheries, 38116 Braunschweig, Germany
3
Agroecology, Faculty for Biology, Chemistry, and Earth Sciences, University of Bayreuth, 95447 Bayreuth, Germany
4
Department of Genomic and Applied Microbiology, Institute of Microbiology and Genetics, University of Göttingen, 37073 Göttingen, Germany
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Micòl Mastrocicco
Appl. Sci. 2021, 11(11), 5309; https://doi.org/10.3390/app11115309
Received: 16 April 2021 / Revised: 1 June 2021 / Accepted: 2 June 2021 / Published: 7 June 2021
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Denitrification in Agricultural Soils II)
Returning crop residues to agricultural fields can accelerate nutrient turnover and increase N2O and NO emissions. Increased microbial respiration may lead to formation of local hotspots with anoxic or microoxic conditions promoting denitrification. To investigate the effect of litter quality on CO2, NO, N2O, and N2 emissions, we conducted a laboratory incubation study in a controlled atmosphere (He/O2, or pure He) with different maize litter types (Zea mays L., young leaves and roots, straw). We applied the N2O isotopocule mapping approach to distinguish between N2O emitting processes and partitioned the CO2 efflux into litter- and soil organic matter (SOM)-derived CO2 based on the natural 13C isotope abundances. Maize litter increased total and SOM derived CO2 emissions leading to a positive priming effect. Although C turnover was high, NO and N2O fluxes were low under oxic conditions as high O2 diffusivity limited denitrification. In the first week, nitrification contributed to NO emissions, which increased with increasing net N mineralization. Isotopocule mapping indicated that bacterial processes dominated N2O formation in litter-amended soil in the beginning of the incubation experiment with a subsequent shift towards fungal denitrification. With onset of anoxic incubation conditions after 47 days, N fluxes strongly increased, and heterotrophic bacterial denitrification became the main source of N2O. The N2O/(N2O+N2) ratio decreased with increasing litter C:N ratio and Corg:NO3 ratio in soil, confirming that the ratio of available C:N is a major control of denitrification product stoichiometry. View Full-Text
Keywords: fungal denitrification; nitrification; isotopocules; priming effect; nitric oxide; nitrous oxide; dinitrogen; greenhouse gas; decomposition fungal denitrification; nitrification; isotopocules; priming effect; nitric oxide; nitrous oxide; dinitrogen; greenhouse gas; decomposition
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MDPI and ACS Style

Rummel, P.S.; Well, R.; Pausch, J.; Pfeiffer, B.; Dittert, K. Carbon Availability and Nitrogen Mineralization Control Denitrification Rates and Product Stoichiometry during Initial Maize Litter Decomposition. Appl. Sci. 2021, 11, 5309. https://doi.org/10.3390/app11115309

AMA Style

Rummel PS, Well R, Pausch J, Pfeiffer B, Dittert K. Carbon Availability and Nitrogen Mineralization Control Denitrification Rates and Product Stoichiometry during Initial Maize Litter Decomposition. Applied Sciences. 2021; 11(11):5309. https://doi.org/10.3390/app11115309

Chicago/Turabian Style

Rummel, Pauline Sophie, Reinhard Well, Johanna Pausch, Birgit Pfeiffer, and Klaus Dittert. 2021. "Carbon Availability and Nitrogen Mineralization Control Denitrification Rates and Product Stoichiometry during Initial Maize Litter Decomposition" Applied Sciences 11, no. 11: 5309. https://doi.org/10.3390/app11115309

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