Oxidation of ammonium to nitrite under iron-reducing conditions in wetland soils: Laboratory, field demonstrations, and push-pull rate determination

Junu Shrestha, Jeremy J. Rich, Joan G. Ehrenfeld, Peter R. Jaffe

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

69 Scopus citations

Abstract

Nitrite (NO2) in soils has been observed under a variety of field conditions. The formation of NO2 in soils is possible during nitrification or denitrification depending on the soil conditions. This study presents a series of experiments performed at different scales that demonstrate the production of NO2 under iron-reducing conditions, in the absence of an initial nitrate pool. These experiments were performed either in a riparian wetland in New Jersey or in laboratory experiments using soils from the same location. The rates of use of NO2 and ammonium (NH4) determined in situ by performing push-pull experiments were of the same magnitude, supporting the observation of a steady-state NO2 pool under such anaerobic conditions. An isotope experiment performed with NH4 conclusively showed an existence of a pathway linking NH4 to dinitrogen gas under anaerobic iron-reducing conditions, in the absence of initial nitrate or NO2. Such observations indicate a possibility for the complete removal of NH4 from wetland soils under anaerobic conditions that develop when soils are water saturated.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)156-164
Number of pages9
JournalSoil Science
Volume174
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 1 2009

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Soil Science

Keywords

  • Ammonium oxidation
  • Iron reduction
  • Nitrite
  • Soils
  • Wetland push-pull

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