N2O, NO and CH4 exchange, and microbial N turnover over a Mediterranean pine forest soil
- 1Karlsruhe Research Centre, Institute for Meteorology and Climate Research, Atmospheric Environmental Research (IMK-IFU), Kreuzeckbahnstr. 19, 82467 Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany
- 2Institute for Atmospheric Physics, Beijing 100029, PR China
- 3EC-Joint Research Centre, Environmental Institute, Via E. Fermi, 21020 Ispra, Italy
Abstract. Trace gas exchange of N2O, NO/NO2 and CH4 between soil and the atmosphere was measured in a typical Mediterranean pine (Pinus pinaster) forest during two intensive field campaigns in spring and autumn 2003. Furthermore, gross and net turnover rates of N mineralization and nitrification as well as soil profiles of N2O and CH4 concentrations were determined. For both seasons a weak but significant N2O uptake from the atmosphere into the soil was observed. During the unusually dry and hot spring mean N2O uptake was −4.32 µg N m-2 h-1, whereas during the wet and mild autumn mean N2O uptake was −7.85 µg N m-2 h-1. The observed N2O uptake into the soil was linked to the very low availability of inorganic nitrogen at the study site. Organic layer gross N mineralization decreased from 5.06 mg N kg-1 SDW d-1 in springtime to 2.68 mg N kg-1 SDW d-1 in autumn. Mean NO emission rates were significantly higher in springtime (9.94 µg N m-2 h-1) than in autumn (1.43 µg N m-2 h-1). A significant positive correlation between NO emission rates and gross N mineralization as well as nitrification rates was found. The negative correlation between NO emissions and soil moisture was explained with a stimulation of aerobic NO uptake under N limiting conditions. Since NO2 deposition was continuously higher than NO emission rates the examined forest soil functioned as a net NOx sink. Observed mean net CH4 uptake rates were in spring significantly higher (−73.34 µg C m-2 h-1) than in autumn (−59.67 µg C m-2 h-1). Changes in CH4 uptake rates were strongly negatively correlated with changes in soil moisture. The N2O and CH4 concentrations in different soil depths revealed the organic layer and the upper 0.1 m of mineral soil as the most important soil horizons for N2O and CH4 consumption.