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Experimental field estimation of organic nitrogen formation in tree canopies

By J.N. Cape, L.J. Sheppard, A. Crossley, N. van Dijk and Y.S. Tang


The content of organic N has been shown in many studies to increase during the passage of rain water through forest canopies. The source of this organic N is unknown, but generally assumed to come from canopy processing of wet or dry-deposited inorganic N. There have been very few experimental studies in the field to address the canopy formation or loss of organic N. We report two studies: a Scots pine canopy exposed to ammonia gas, and a Sitka spruce canopy exposed to ammonium and nitrate as wet deposition. In both cases, organic N deposition in throughfall was increased, but only represented a small fraction (<10%) of the additional inorganic N supplied, suggesting a limited capacity for net organic N production, similar in both conifer canopies under Scottish summertime conditions, of less than 1.6 mmol Nm2 mth1 (equivalent to 3 kg N ha1 y1)

Topics: Ecology and Environment
Publisher: Elsevier
Year: 2010
DOI identifier: 10.1016/j.envpol.2010.06.002
OAI identifier: oai:nora.nerc.ac.uk:10431

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