Environmental Earth Sciences

, Volume 71, Issue 5, pp 2167–2175 | Cite as

Distribution of nitrogen forms in surface sediments of lakes from different regions, China

  • Shouliang Huo
  • Jingtian Zhang
  • Beidou XiEmail author
  • Fengyu Zan
  • Jing Su
  • Hong Yu
Original Article


The characteristics of nitrogen fractions in the surface sediments of lakes from Eastern Plain Region, Yunnan-Guizhou Plateau Region, Northeast China Region, Qinghai-Tibet Plateau Region and Mongolia-Xinjiang Plateau Region were investigated and the differences of five lake regions on nitrogen fractionation were discussed. The results indicated that organic nitrogen (Norg) was the major nitrogen fraction accounting for 76.38–92.02 % of Ntot in sediments. The rank order of average Norg and Ntot of sediments in five lake regions was: Yunnan-Guizhou Plateau Region > Northeast China Region > Mongolia-Xinjiang Plateau Region > Qinghai-Tibet Plateau Region > Eastern Plain Region. The exchangeable nitrogen had a similar distribution as organic nitrogen in the studied sediments. NH4 +–N is the main exchangeable nitrogen of sediments in the studied lakes except in Lake Qinghai and Lake Yamdrok which contained higher nitrate concentrations than ammonium. Fixed ammonium (Nfix) in the sediments of studied lakes was irregularly distributed with the values ranging from 99.45 to 329.02 mg/kg. TOC was significantly and positively correlated with ammonium, nitrate, Norg and Ntot, while Nfix was negatively correlated with nitrate probably due to electrostatic attraction between Nfix and nitrate in layers of sediments.


Distribution Nitrogen fraction Sediments Lake regions 



This study is supported by the Mega-projects of Science Research for Water Environment Improvement (Program No. 2009ZX07106-001; 2012ZX07101-002), the National Natural Science Foundation of China (No. 40901248) and the China Basic Research Program (Program No. 2008CB418206).


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Shouliang Huo
    • 1
  • Jingtian Zhang
    • 1
  • Beidou Xi
    • 1
    Email author
  • Fengyu Zan
    • 1
    • 2
  • Jing Su
    • 1
  • Hong Yu
    • 1
  1. 1.State Key Laboratory of Environmental Criteria and Risk AssessmentChinese Research Academy of Environmental ScienceBeijingChina
  2. 2.College of Environmental Science and EngineeringAnhui Normal UniversityWuhuChina

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