Articles | Volume 16, issue 18
Research article
 | Highlight paper
27 Sep 2019
Research article | Highlight paper |  | 27 Sep 2019

Physical constraints for respiration in microbial hotspots in soil and their importance for denitrification

Steffen Schlüter, Jan Zawallich, Hans-Jörg Vogel, and Peter Dörsch

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Cited articles

Arah, J. R. M. and Vinten, A. J. A.: Simplified models of anoxia and denitrification in aggregated and simple-structured soils, Eur. J. Soil Sci., 46, 507–517,, 1995. 
Ball, B. C.: Soil structure and greenhouse gas emissions: a synthesis of 20 years of experimentation, Eur. J. Soil Sci., 64, 357–373,, 2013. 
Bergaust, L., Shapleigh, J., Frostegard, A., and Bakken, L.: Transcription and activities of NOx reductases in Agrobacterium tumefaciens : The influence of nitrate, nitrite and oxygen availability, Environ. Microbiol., 10, 3070–3081, 2008. 
Bergaust, L., Mao, Y., Bakken, L., and Frostegard, A.: Denitrification response patterns during the transition to anoxic respiration and posttranscriptional effects of suboptimal pH on nitrogen oxide reductase in Paracoccus denitrificans, Appl. Environ. Microbiol., 76, 6387–6396, 2010. 
Bergaust, L., Bakken, Lars, R., and Frostegård, Å.: Denitrification regulatory phenotype, a new term for the characterization of denitrifying bacteria, Biochem. Soc. T., 39, 207–212,, 2011. 
Short summary
A combination of gas chromatography and X-ray CT reveals the microscale processes that govern soil respiration. Aerobic and anaerobic respiration in microbial hotspots depends not only on the quality and quantity of soil organic matter, but also on the spatial distribution of hotspots. Denitrification kinetics are mainly governed by hotspot architecture due to local competition for oxygen during growth. Cumulative behavior is mainly governed by water saturation due to the overall supply with O2.
Final-revised paper