Miombo typesavanna ecosystem
Springer Online Journal Archives 1860-2000
Agriculture, Forestry, Horticulture, Fishery, Domestic Science, Nutrition
Abstract During October to December 1994, we measured diel and seasonal variability in nitric oxide (NO) exchange by a southern African savanna ecosystem (Grasslands Research Station, Marondera, Zimbabwe). A set of automated dynamic chambers was installed in three sub-sites: Miombo forest, natural grassland, and cropped soils (maize, sorghum, groundnut). The latter received a single application of commercialy available in-organic or cowdung fertilizer. The dynamic chamber system is described in detail, including correction of the resulting data for wall losses and gas-phase reactions of the NO-NO2-O3 triad. During the dry season, net vertical NO fluxes were close to the detection limit (0.44 ngN m-2s-1) regardless of vegetation type. During the transition from dry to wet season strong "pulsing" effects of the NO flux were observed: NO emissions increased by a factor of up to 60 within hours. During the wet season, NO emissions varied between the different sub-sites of the ecosystem; corresponding means are in ranking order of fertilized agricultural plots (27.2 ngN m-2 s-1), unfertilized agricultural plots (8.5 ngN m-2 s-1 ), grassland (4.4 ngN m-2 s-1 ), and Miombo forest (1.5 ngN m-2 s-1). Soil moisture was found to be the dominant factor controlling the NO fluxes. Whenever it was not limiting, the diel behaviour of NO emission followed the daily variation of soil temperature measured 1 cm below the surface.
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