Chinese Science Bulletin

, Volume 59, Issue 24, pp 2945–2956

Nitrogen cycle in the hyporheic zone of natural wetlands

Review Geography

DOI: 10.1007/s11434-014-0224-7

Cite this article as:
Zhou, N., Zhao, S. & Shen, X. Chin. Sci. Bull. (2014) 59: 2945. doi:10.1007/s11434-014-0224-7


Nitrogen (N) is one of the most important components and ecological factors for natural wetland ecosystems. It is mainly derived from runoff input, atmospheric deposition, and biological N fixation. The transport and transformation of N in natural wetlands primarily occur in the hyporheic zone (HZ), a buffer area of intensified biogeochemical activity that is often regarded as the sink, source, and converter of N in wetlands. The main ways of N attenuation in the HZ are denitrification, anaerobic ammonia oxidation (anammox), and wetland plant adsorption. The effects of internal and human factors on the N cycle are illustrated in this article. The results indicate that N sources are influenced by human factors such as agricultural activities and fossil combustion, while N attenuation is affected by internal factors, including oxygen concentration, carbon and phosphorus availability, pH and Eh changes, and microorganism actions. Finally, some research trends are provided to get a better understanding of the N cycle in the HZ of natural wetlands. This study may provide a clear perspective of N cycle in the HZ and their interactions between various factors.


Nitrogen cycleHyporheic zoneNatural wetlandsNitrogen sourceNitrogen attenuationHuman activities

Copyright information

© Science China Press and Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Hydraulic EngineeringTongji UniversityShanghaiChina
  2. 2.Key Laboratory of Yangtze River Water EnvironmentMinistry of EducationShanghaiChina
  3. 3.Dongting Lake Water Resources Administration Bureau of Hunan ProvinceChangshaChina