Plant and Soil

, Volume 199, Issue 2, pp 229–238

The effect of different N substrates on biological N2O production from forest and agricultural light textured soils

  • Simona Castaldi
  • Keith A. Smith

DOI: 10.1023/A:1004383015778

Cite this article as:
Castaldi, S. & Smith, K.A. Plant and Soil (1998) 199: 229. doi:10.1023/A:1004383015778


N2O emissions from two slightly alkaline sandy soils, from arable land and a woodland, were determined in a laboratory experiment in which the soils were incubated with different sources of nitrogen, with or without glucose, and with 0, 1 and 100 mL C2H2 L-1. Large differences in the rate of N2O production were observed between the two soils and between the different N treatments. The arable soil showed very low N2O emissions derived from reduced forms of N as compared with the N2O which was produced when the soil was provided with NO2- or NO3- and a C source, suggesting a very active denitrifier population. In contrast, the woodland soil showed a very low denitrification activity and a much higher N2O production derived from the oxidation of NH4+ and reduction of NO2- by some processes probably mediated by autotrophic or heterotrophic nitrifiers or dissimilatory NO2- reducers. In both soils, the highest N2O emissions were induced by NO2- addition. Those emissions were demonstrated to have a biological origin, as no significant N2O emissions were measured when the soil was autoclaved.

acetylenedenitrificationnitrificationN2ON sources

Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1998

Authors and Affiliations

  • Simona Castaldi
    • 1
  • Keith A. Smith
    • 2
  1. 1.Soil Science DepartmentSACItalia
  2. 2.Dipartimento di Scienze AmbientaliSeconda Università degli Studi di NapoliCasertaItalia
  3. 3.IERM, University of EdinburghEdinburghUK