Preprints
https://doi.org/10.5194/bg-2022-236
https://doi.org/10.5194/bg-2022-236
 
12 Jan 2023
12 Jan 2023
Status: this preprint is currently under review for the journal BG.

Ideas and perspectives: Errors associated with the gross nitrification rates in forested catchments calculated from the triple oxygen isotopic composition (Δ17O) of stream nitrate

Weitian Ding, Urumu Tsunogai, and Fumiko Nakagawa Weitian Ding et al.
  • Graduate School of Environmental Studies, Nagoya University, Furo-cho, Chikusaku, Nagoya 464-8601, Japan

Abstract. A novel method to quantify the gross nitrification rate (GNR) in each forested catchment using the triple oxygen isotopic composition (Δ17O) of stream nitrate eluted from the catchment has been proposed and used in recent studies. However, the equations used in the calculations assumed homogeneous Δ17O values of nitrate being metabolized through either assimilation or denitrification within the forested soil layers without particular discussions. The GNR estimated from the Δ17O of stream nitrate using the equations was more than six times the actual GNR in our simulated calculation for a forested catchment where the Δ17O values of nitrate being metabolized in the soil were heterogeneous and showed a decreasing trend with increasing depths. Therefore, we should verify that the Δ17O values of nitrate being metabolized are homogeneous in forested soils or estimate the possible range of errors using Δ17O of stream nitrate to estimate the GNR.

Weitian Ding et al.

Status: open (until 23 Feb 2023)

Comment types: AC – author | RC – referee | CC – community | EC – editor | CEC – chief editor | : Report abuse

Weitian Ding et al.

Weitian Ding et al.

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Short summary
Past studies used the Δ17O of stream nitrate to estimate GNR in each forested catchment. However, the GNR estimated from the Δ17O of stream nitrate using the equations was more than six times the actual GNR in our simulated calculation for a forested catchment. As a result, it must be essential to clarify/verify the distribution of the Δ17O values of NO3 in forested soils before applying the Δ17O values of stream NO3 to estimate GNR.
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