Organism specific denitrification in samples of an Udifluvent with different nitrate concentrations

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Model experiments were carried out to elucidate the interrelations between the ratio of N2O to N2 gases released by the denitrification of different amounts of nitrate on the one hand and of the activity of bacterial populations on the other hand. Soil samples amended with 2 different amounts of nitrate were sterilized, inoculated with either their natural bacterial population or by strains of denitrifying soil bacteria and incubated anaerobically in gas‐tight flasks. Results of these experiments are: The composition of denitrification gases (N2O, NO, N2) was exclusively caused by the species of the active microorganism in the soil: the nitrate concentration only influenced the denitrification rate, but not the N2O/N2 ratio of each organism. The amounts of nitrite formed transitorily were also specific for the type of organism. These amounts of nitrite influenced neither the emission of N2O (and NO) nor the ratio of N2O to N2 or of N2O to consumption of nitrate. The N2O formation depended primarily on the microbial soil population and secondly on the nitrate concentration in correlation with the type of the denitrifying population.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)395-400
Number of pages6
JournalZeitschrift für Pflanzenernährung und Bodenkunde
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1989
Externally publishedYes


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