Nutrient Cycling in Agroecosystems

, Volume 55, Issue 2, pp 133–157 | Cite as

Effects of soil solution on the dynamics of N2O emissions: a review

  • Maren Heincke
  • Martin Kaupenjohann


In this review, which consists of two parts, major interactions between nitrous oxide (N2>O) and soil solution are described. In the first part, as an introduction, concentrations of dissolved N2>O in different aqueous systems are summarized. An inventory of data on maximal N2>O concentrations in soil solution (up to 9984 μg N2>O-N l−1>) and in soil air (up to 8300 ppm) from literature is presented. The peak N2>O concentrations represent a N2>O supersaturation in the soil solution up to 30000 times with respect to ambient air and a soil air N2>O concentration about 25000 times higher than in the atmosphere. The main physico–chemical parameters (solubility, diffusion) controlling N2>O distribution between soil solution and soil air are outlined. The influences of cultivation practice, nitrogen turnover, water content and temperature on N2>O a ccumulation in soil solution and soil air are reviewed. In the second part some models of N2>O dynamics in soils are discussed with emphasis on N2>O transport processes. A simple qualitative scheme is developed to categorize the effects of the soil solution on N2>O dynamics in soils. In this scheme the temporary, intensive N2>O oversaturation of the soil solution is interpreted as a result of gas diffusion inhibition by water (barrier function of soil solution) resulting in an accumulation of N2>O. In addition, N2>O supersaturation is an indication that transitory much N2>O can be stored in the soil solution (storage function of soil solution). Where the soil solution flows up-, down- or sidewards it can act as a relevant transport medium for dissolved N2>O (transport function of soil solution). This scheme is applied to examples from the literature.

nitrous oxide soil solution soil air solubility nitrogen balance modeling leaching 


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© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1999

Authors and Affiliations

  • Maren Heincke
    • 1
  • Martin Kaupenjohann
    • 1
  1. 1.Institute of Soil Science, Department of Soil ChemistryHohenheim UniversityStuttgartGermany

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