Biogeochemistry

, Volume 70, Issue 1, pp 59–69

Long-term behaviour of 15N in an alpine grassland ecosystem

Authors

  • Martin H. Gerzabek
    • Department of Environmental ResearchARC Seibersdorf research
    • Institute of Soil ResearchUniversity of Natural Resources and Applied Life Sciences
  • Georg Haberhauer
    • Department of Environmental ResearchARC Seibersdorf research
  • Michael Stemmer
    • Institute of Soil ResearchUniversity of Natural Resources and Applied Life Sciences
  • Sabine Klepsch
    • Institute of Soil ResearchUniversity of Natural Resources and Applied Life Sciences
  • Ernst Haunold
    • Am Platengrund 5e
Article

DOI: 10.1023/B:BIOG.0000049336.84556.62

Cite this article as:
Gerzabek, M.H., Haberhauer, G., Stemmer, M. et al. Biogeochemistry (2004) 70: 59. doi:10.1023/B:BIOG.0000049336.84556.62

Abstract

Nitrogen dynamics in semi-natural environments is crucial for the development and ecological stability of these systems. The present paper shows the results of the reinvestigation of a 15N-tracer experiment, which was established in the Grossglockner massif in Austria at 2300 m a.s.l. in 1974/1975. We show that large quantities of nitrogen introduced by a single pulse labelling (amounting to approximately 1.7% of the nitrogen in the system) into an alpine grassland remain in the soil–plant system, with only 55% being lost during 27–28 years. In the first 10 cm of the four investigated soil profiles 40% of 15N was recovered, being mainly bound in organic forms. A simple site specific model was established on the basis of the results considering a biological, residual and labile N-pool, the latter being the source for N-losses. By the model a long mean residence time close to 100 years was derived for the remaining 15N.

Alpine grasslandCambisol15NN dynamicsN-pools

Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 2004