Plant and Soil

, Volume 306, Issue 1–2, pp 221–236 | Cite as

Emissions of nitrous oxide from three tropical forests in Southern China in response to simulated nitrogen deposition

  • Wei Zhang
  • Jiangming Mo
  • Guirui Yu
  • Yunting Fang
  • Dejun Li
  • Xiankai Lu
  • Hui Wang
Regular Article


Emissions of nitrous oxide (N2O) from the soil following simulated nitrogen (N) deposition in a disturbed (pine), a rehabilitated (pine and broadleaf mixed) and a mature (monsoon evergreen broadleaf) tropical forest in southern China were studied. The following hypotheses were tested: (1) addition of N will increase soil N2O emission in tropical forests; and (2) any observed increase will be more pronounced in the mature forest than in the disturbed or rehabilitated forest due to the relatively high initial soil N concentration in the mature forest. The experiment was designed with four N treatment levels (three replicates; 0, 50, 100, 150 kg N ha−1 year−1 for C (Control), LN (Low-N), MN (Medium-N), and HN (High-N) treatment, respectively) in the mature forest, but only three levels in the disturbed and rehabilitated forests (C, LN and MN). Between October 2005 to September 2006, soil N2O flux was measured using static chamber and gas chromatography methodology. Nitrogen had been applied previously to the plots since July 2003 and continued during soil N2O flux measurement period. The annual mean rates of soil N2O emission in the C plots were 24.1 ± 1.5, 26.2 ± 1.4, and 29.3 ± 1.6 μg N2O–N m−2 h−1 in the disturbed, rehabilitated and mature forest, respectively. There was a significant increase in soil N2O emission following N additions in the mature forest (38%, 41%, and 58% when compared to the C plots for the LN, MN, and HN plots, respectively). In the disturbed forest a significant increase (35%) was observed in the MN plots, but not in the LN plots. The rehabilitated forest showed no significant response to N additions. Increases in soil N2O emission occurred primarily in the cool-dry season (November, December and January). Our results suggest that the response of soil N2O emission to N deposition in tropical forests in southern China may vary depending on the soil N status and land-use history of the forest.


Anthropogenic disturbances N2O emission N deposition Tropical forests China 



We would like to thank the constructive comments from two anonymous reviewers and the editor, which have greatly improved the quality of the manuscript. We especially thank Dr. WX Zhu, P Gundersen, S Brown and GY Zhou for their advices throughout the study. This study was financially supported by Key Project of Chinese Academy of Sciences Knowledge Innovation Program (KZCX2-YW-432-2), National Natural Science Foundation of China (no. 30670392), Field Frontiers Project of Chinese Academy of Sciences Knowledge Innovation Program (KSCX2-SW-133), and the Provincial Natural Science Foundation of Guangdong, China (no. 7006915).


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Wei Zhang
    • 1
    • 4
  • Jiangming Mo
    • 1
  • Guirui Yu
    • 2
  • Yunting Fang
    • 1
  • Dejun Li
    • 3
  • Xiankai Lu
    • 1
    • 4
  • Hui Wang
    • 1
  1. 1.South China Botanical GardenChinese Academy of SciencesGuangzhouChina
  2. 2.Synthesis Research Center of Chinese Ecosystem Research Network, Institute of Geographic Sciences and Natural Resources ResearchChinese Academy of SciencesBeijingChina
  3. 3.State Key Laboratory of Organic Geochemistry, Guangzhou Institute of GeochemistryChinese Academy of SciencesGuangzhouChina
  4. 4.Graduate University of Chinese Academy of SciencesBeijingChina

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