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Ammonium Nitrogen Deposition as a Dominant Source of Nitrogen in a Forested Watershed Experiencing Acid Rain in Central Japan


To clarify nitrogen (N) sources, the overall N budget in a forested watershed in Kanagawa Prefecture, Central Japan was estimated by measuring dissolved inorganic N (DIN; NH4 + + NO3 + NO2 ) from Nov 2004 through Oct 2005. The estimated N budget (–1.43 kg N ha–1 year–1) showed that the N output rate (stream water N) was higher than the N input rate (bulk deposition N) in the watershed. The annual NO2 and NO3 input rates were 0.02 and 1.99 kg N ha–1 year–1, respectively. NH4 + was the predominant source in this forested watershed, accounting for 71% (4.99 kg N ha–1 year–1) of DIN input rate. In addition, this study estimated rainfall pH, air temperature, and wind direction, which were considered as controlling factors related to the atmospheric deposition rate of NH4 +. This study showed that the rainfall NH4 + was inversely proportional to the initial pH of the rainfall, which was calculated by adding the amount of H+ consumed by the dissociation process of NH3(aq) to the measured rainfall pH. This result implies that acid rain can elevate the solubility of NH3(g) and the dissociation capacity of NH4 + throughout the process of precipitation. Also, this study provides strong evidence that the high NH4 + deposition rate is mainly derived from NH3(g) emitted from livestock wastes under the NH3 transport condition of warm summer and favorable wind direction.

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This study was supported by the Japanese Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (Grant No. 16500561). Authors would like to express special thanks to Mr. Yasuhiro Tsuneda, Mr. Shou Iwasaki, and Mr. Katsushi Uehara (Musashi Institute of Technology) for their assistance with sample collection and laboratory analysis. Authors greatly acknowledge Dr. Abraham J. Miller-Rushing (USA National Phenology Network and The Wildlife Society) for his advice for this article.

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Correspondence to Young-Sik Ham.

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An erratum to this article can be found at http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11270-010-0415-z

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Ham, Y., Kobori, H., Kang, J. et al. Ammonium Nitrogen Deposition as a Dominant Source of Nitrogen in a Forested Watershed Experiencing Acid Rain in Central Japan. Water Air Soil Pollut 212, 337–344 (2010). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11270-010-0347-7

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  • Acid rain
  • Atmospheric N deposition
  • Livestock
  • N sources
  • Forested watershed
  • Central Japan