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  • 1
    Publication Date: 2011-12-19
    Print ISSN: 1810-6277
    Electronic ISSN: 1810-6285
    Topics: Biology , Geosciences
    Published by Copernicus on behalf of European Geosciences Union (EGU).
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  • 2
    Publication Date: 2013-01-22
    Print ISSN: 1810-6277
    Electronic ISSN: 1810-6285
    Topics: Biology , Geosciences
    Published by Copernicus on behalf of European Geosciences Union (EGU).
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  • 3
    Publication Date: 2015-01-23
    Description: The analysis of the four main isotopic N2O species (14N14N16O, 14N15N16O, 15N14N16O, 14N14N18O) and especially the intramolecular distribution of 15N (site preference, SP) has been suggested as a tool to distinguish source processes and to help constrain the global N2O budget. However, current studies suffer from limited spatial and temporal resolution capabilities due to the combination of discrete flask sampling with subsequent laboratory-based mass spectrometric analysis. Quantum cascade laser absorption spectroscopy (QCLAS) allows selective high-precision analysis of N2O isotopic species at trace levels and is suitable for in situ measurements. Here, we present results from the first field campaign, conducted on an intensively managed grassland in central Switzerland. N2O mole fractions and isotopic composition were determined in the atmospheric surface layer (2 m height) at high temporal resolution with a modified state-of-the-art laser spectrometer connected to an automated N2O preconcentration unit. The analytical performance was determined from repeated measurements of a compressed air tank and resulted in measurement repeatability of 0.20, 0.12 and 0.11‰ for δ15Nα, δ15Nβ and δ18O, respectively. Simultaneous eddy-covariance N2O flux measurements were used to determine the flux-averaged isotopic signature of soil-emitted N2O. Our measurements indicate that in general, nitrifier-denitrification and denitrification were the prevalent sources of N2O during the campaign, and that variations in isotopic composition were rather due to alterations in the extent to which N2O was reduced to N2, than other pathways such as hydroxylamine oxidation. Management and rewetting events were characterized by low values of the intra-molecular 15N site preference (SP), δ15Nbulk and δ18O, suggesting nitrifier denitrification and incomplete heterotrophic bacterial denitrification responded most strongly to the induced disturbances. Flux-averaged isotopic composition of N2O from intensively managed grassland was 6.9 ± 4.3, -17.4 ± 6.2 and 27.4 ± 3.6‰ for SP, δ15Nbulk and δ18O, respectively. The approach presented here is capable of providing long-term datasets also for other N2O emitting ecosystems, which can be used to further constrain global N2O inventories.
    Print ISSN: 1810-6277
    Electronic ISSN: 1810-6285
    Topics: Biology , Geosciences
    Published by Copernicus on behalf of European Geosciences Union (EGU).
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  • 4
    Publication Date: 2015-04-29
    Description: The analysis of the four main isotopic N2O species (14N14N16O, 14N15N16O, 15N14N16O, 14N14N18O) and especially the intramolecular distribution of 15N ("site preference", SP) has been suggested as a tool to distinguish source processes and to help constrain the global N2O budget. However, current studies suffer from limited spatial and temporal resolution capabilities due to the combination of discrete flask sampling with subsequent laboratory-based mass-spectrometric analysis. Quantum cascade laser absorption spectroscopy (QCLAS) allows the selective high-precision analysis of N2O isotopic species at trace levels and is suitable for in situ measurements. Here, we present results from the first field campaign, conducted on an intensively managed grassland site in central Switzerland. N2O mole fractions and isotopic composition were determined in the atmospheric surface layer (at 2.2 m height) at a high temporal resolution with a modified state-of-the-art laser spectrometer connected to an automated N2O preconcentration unit. The analytical performance was determined from repeated measurements of a compressed air tank and resulted in measurement repeatability of 0.20, 0.12 and 0.11‰ for δ15Nα, δ15Nβ and δ18O, respectively. Simultaneous eddy-covariance N2O flux measurements were used to determine the flux-averaged isotopic signature of soil-emitted N2O. Our measurements indicate that, in general, nitrifier-denitrification and denitrification were the prevalent sources of N2O during the campaign and that variations in isotopic composition were due to alterations in the extent to which N2O was reduced to N2 rather than to other pathways, such as hydroxylamine oxidation. Management and rewetting events were characterized by low values of the intramolecular 15N site preference (SP), δ15Nbulk and δ18O, suggesting that nitrifier-denitrification and incomplete heterotrophic bacterial denitrification responded most strongly to the induced disturbances. The flux-averaged isotopic composition of N2O from intensively managed grassland was 6.9 ± 4.3, −17.4 ± 6.2 and 27.4 ± 3.6‰ for SP, δ15Nbulk and δ18O, respectively. The approach presented here is capable of providing long-term data sets also for other N2O-emitting ecosystems, which can be used to further constrain global N2O inventories.
    Print ISSN: 1726-4170
    Electronic ISSN: 1726-4189
    Topics: Biology , Geosciences
    Published by Copernicus on behalf of European Geosciences Union (EGU).
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  • 5
    Publication Date: 2012-05-21
    Description: Besides agricultural soils, temperate forest soils have been identified as significant sources of or sinks for important atmospheric trace gases (N2O, NO, CH4, and CO2). Although the number of studies for this ecosystem type increased more than tenfold during the last decade, studies covering an entire year and spanning more than 1–2 years remained scarce. This study reports the results of continuous measurements of soil-atmosphere C- and N-gas exchange with high temporal resolution carried out since 1994 at the Höglwald Forest spruce site, an experimental field station in Southern Germany. Annual soil N2O, NO and CO2 emissions and CH4 uptake (1994–2010) varied in a range of 0.2–3.0 kg N2O-N ha−1yr−1, 6.4–11.4 kg NO-N ha−1yr−1, 7.0–9.2 t CO2-C ha−1yr−1, and 0.9–3.5 kg CH4-C ha−1yr−1, respectively. The observed high fluxes of N-trace gases are most likely a consequence of high rates of atmospheric nitrogen deposition (〉20 kg N ha−1yr−1) of NH3 and NOx to our site. For N2O, cumulative annual emissions were ≥ 0.8 kg N2O-N ha−1yr−1 in years with freeze-thaw events (5 out 14 of years). This shows that long-term, multi-year measurements are needed to obtain reliable estimates of N2O fluxes for a given ecosystem. Cumulative values of soil respiratory CO2 fluxes tended to be highest in years with prolonged freezing periods, i.e. years with below average annual mean soil temperatures and high N2O emissions (e.g. the years 1996 and 2006). Furthermore, based on our unique database on trace gas fluxes we analyzed if soil temperature, soil moisture measurements can be used to approximate trace gas fluxes at daily, weekly, monthly, or annual scale. Our analysis shows that simple-to-measure environmental drivers such as soil temperature or soil moisture are suitable to approximate fluxes of NO and CO2 at weekly and monthly resolution reasonably well (accounting for up to 59 % of the variance). However, for CH4 we so far failed to find meaningful correlations, and also for N2O the predictive power is rather low. This is most likely due to the complexity of involved processes and counteracting effects of soil moisture and temperature, specifically with regard to N2O production and consumption by denitrification and microbial community dynamics. At monthly scale, including information on gross primary production (CO2, NO), and N deposition (N2O), increased significantly the explanatory power of the obtained empirical regressions (CO2: r2 =0.8; NO: r2 = 0.67; N2O, all data: r2 = 0.5; N2O, with exclusion of freeze-thaw periods: r2 = 0.65).
    Print ISSN: 1726-4170
    Electronic ISSN: 1726-4189
    Topics: Biology , Geosciences
    Published by Copernicus on behalf of European Geosciences Union (EGU).
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  • 6
    Publication Date: 2013-05-13
    Description: In this paper, we investigate similarities of effects of soil environmental drivers on year-round daily soil fluxes of nitrous oxide and methane for three distinct semi-natural or natural ecosystems: temperate spruce forest, Germany; tropical rain forest, Queensland, Australia; and ungrazed semi-arid steppe, Inner Mongolia, China. Annual cumulative fluxes of nitrous oxide and methane varied markedly among ecosystems, with nitrous oxide fluxes being highest for the tropical forest site (tropical forest: 0.96 kg N ha−1 yr−1; temperate forest: 0.67 kg N ha−1 yr−1; steppe: 0.22 kg N ha−1 yr−1), while rates of soil methane uptake were approximately equal for the temperate forest (−3.45 kg C ha−1 yr−1) and the steppe (−3.39 kg C ha−1 yr−1), but lower for the tropical forest site (−2.38 kg C ha−1 yr−1). In order to allow for cross-site comparison of effects of changes in soil moisture and soil temperature on fluxes of methane and nitrous oxide, we used a normalization approach. Data analysis with normalized data revealed that, across sites, optimum rates of methane uptake are found at environmental conditions representing approximately average site environmental conditions. This might have rather important implications for understanding effects of climate change on soil methane uptake potential, since any shift in environmental conditions is likely to result in a reduction of soil methane uptake ability. For nitrous oxide, our analysis revealed expected patterns: highest nitrous oxide emissions under moist and warm conditions and large nitrous oxide fluxes if soils are exposed to freeze–thawing effects at sufficiently high soil moisture contents. However, the explanatory power of relationships of soil moisture or soil temperature to nitrous oxide fluxes remained rather poor (R2 ≤ 0.36). When combined effects of changes in soil moisture and soil temperature were considered, the explanatory power of our empirical relationships with regard to temporal variations in nitrous oxide fluxes were at maximum about 50%. This indicates that other controlling factors such as N and C availability or microbial community dynamics might exert a significant control on the temporal dynamic of nitrous oxide fluxes. Though underlying microbial processes such as nitrification and denitrification are sensitive to changes in the environmental regulating factors, important regulating factors like moisture and temperature seem to have both synergistic and antagonistic effects on the status of other regulating factors. Thus we cannot expect a simple relationship between them and the pattern in the rate of emissions, associated with denitrification or nitrification in the soils. In conclusion, we hypothesize that our approach of data generalization may prove beneficial for the development of environmental response models, which can be used across sites, and which are needed to help achieve a better understanding of climate change feedbacks on biospheric sinks or sources of nitrous oxide and methane.
    Print ISSN: 1726-4170
    Electronic ISSN: 1726-4189
    Topics: Biology , Geosciences
    Published by Copernicus on behalf of European Geosciences Union (EGU).
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