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Inhibitory effect of high nitrate on N2O reduction is offset by long moist spells in heavily N loaded arable soils
Biology and Fertility of Soils  (IF6.432),  Pub Date : 2021-12-28, DOI: 10.1007/s00374-021-01612-x
Senbayram, Mehmet, Wei, Zhijun, Wu, Di, Shan, Jun, Yan, Xiaoyuan, Well, Reinhard

Numerous interrelated factors (e.g., the labile C, soil NO3 concentration, and soil moisture content) are involved in controlling the microbial sources of N2O and the product stoichiometry of denitrification; however, the interactions among different factors are still poorly understood. Here, a fully robotized continuous flow soil incubation system (allowing simultaneous measurements of N2 and N2O fluxes) was employed to investigate the interactive effects of a 51-day duration of moist spell, straw amendment, and the NO3 level on the rate and product stoichiometry (N2O/(N2O + N2) ratio) of denitrification in heavily N loaded arable soils (i.e., paddy, vegetable, and orchard soils). The rewetting-induced N2O emissions mainly originated from bacterial denitrification in all soil types, with a clear shift to fungal denitrification (plus contingent nitrification) over time. The vegetable and orchard soils showed a higher share of bacterial N2O (62–70%) than that in the paddy soils (50–54%), which may be attributed to more labile-C driven bacterial activity induced by the greater manure and crop residue input therein. Interestingly, the inhibitory effect of high soil NO3 on N2O reduction in these soils was offset by a 51-day-long moist spell, regardless of the amendment of straw. To our knowledge, our study is the first to show that the inhibitory effect of high residual NO3 on N2O reduction is suppressed by a moist spell with a certain duration in heavily N loaded arable soils, suggesting that the water regime history should be considered when optimizing the N fertilizer application timing to mitigate soil N2O emissions.