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Inhibition of nitrification alters carbon turnover in the Patagonian steppe

Authors: 
Austin, AT, OE Sala, RB Jackson
Year: 
2006
Journal: 
Ecosystems
Journal Volume/Pages: 
9: 1257-1265

Human activities are altering biodiversity and the nitrogen (N) cycle, affecting terrestrial carbon (C) cycling globally. Only a few specialized bacteria carry out nitrification´┐Żthe transformation of ammonium (NH4+) to nitrate (NO3-), in terrestrial ecosystems, which determines the form and mobility of inorganic N in soils. However, the control of nitrification on C cycling in natural ecosystems is poorly understood. In an ecosystem experiment in the Patagonian steppe, we inhibited autotrophic nitrification and measured its effects on C and N cycling. Decreased net nitrification increased total mineral N and NH4+ and reduced NO3- in the soil. Plant cover (P

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