, Volume 64, Issue 3, pp 319-336

Nitrogen oxide emissions following wetting of dry soils in forest and pastures in Rondônia, Brazil

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Rains at the end of the dry season can trigger increases in emissions of nitric oxide (NO) and nitrous oxide from forest and pasture soils in the Amazon Basin. The relative importance of the rain-stimulated emissions in the seasonal and annual budgets of these nitrogen gases for forests and pastures in the western Amazon is not well established. We measured soil emissions of NO and N2O from a forest and two pastures, 11 and 26 years old, after a simulated rain event. Wetting the soil resulted in very small pulses of NO or N2O from forest soils and no significant NO or N2O pulses from the pastures. We estimated that in the forest, the amounts of each gas emitted from pulses during the dry to wet transition period represented 3.4% of the NO and 1.8% of the N2O dry-season emissions, but amounted to less than 2% of the annual emissions of either gas. Total N oxide emissions of 5.6 kg N/ha/yr from the forest were nearly evenly divided between NO (42%) and N2O (58%). The emissions of NO were evenly distributed over the wet and dry seasons, while over 84% N2O fluxes occurred during the wet season.