Differences in Soil Nitrogen Availability and Transformation in Relation to Land Use in the Napahai Wetland, Southwest China

  • Xuelian Guo
  • Li Chen
  • Rongbo ZhengEmail author
  • Kun Zhang
  • Yuping Qiu
  • Haitao Yue
Research Article


Changes in land use can affect soil nitrogen availability and transformation as well as atmospheric N2O concentration and global warming. The total nitrogen (N), NH4+-N, NO3-N, net N mineralization, and denitrification of natural wetland, grazing meadow, and cropland soils in Napahai Wetland were measured to determine whether the conversion of natural wetland to grazing meadow or cropland significantly impacts soil N availability and transformation. The results showed that grazing meadow and cropland soils exhibited significantly lower total N and inorganic N concentrations than those of natural wetland soils. The net N mineralization rate was higher in the natural wetland soils than that in the grazing meadow soils. The net N mineralization rate of cropland soils was highest in spring and summer but was at its lowest in autumn. Soils of natural wetlands had higher denitrification rates than those of grazing meadows, while cropland soils had higher denitrification rates than those of natural wetlands. These data suggest that the conversion of natural wetland to grazing meadow substantially decreases total N and inorganic N concentrations, net N mineralization, net nitrification, and denitrification. Conversions of natural wetland to cropland could also decrease the total N and inorganic N concentrations throughout the growing seasons but increase both N mineralization, in spring and summer, and denitrification rates, in May, September, and November. Natural wetland soils have higher N availability and N transformation rates than those of grazing meadow soils and cropland soils, indicating that natural wetland would have the greater potential effect on climate change.


Nitrogen mineralization Nitrification Denitrification Land use type Napahai 



We greatly acknowledge Professor Joy Zedler (Wisconsin University-Madison) for her helpful comments and assistance in English editing.

Funding Information

This work was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Nos. 41563008).


  1. Brunetto G, Lorensini F, Ceretta CA, Avelar Ferreira PA, da Rosa Couto R, De Conti L, Nara Ciotta M, Kulmann M, Schneider RO, Michelon Somavilla L (2017) Contribution of mineral N to young grapevine in the presence or absence of cover crops. J Soil Sci Plant Nutr 17(3):570–580CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Burger M, Jackson LE (2003) Microbial immobilization of ammonium and nitrate in relation to ammonification and nitrification rates in organic and conventional cropping systems. Soil Biol Biochem 35(1):29–36CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. DiStefano JF, Gholzn HL (1986) A proposed use of ion exchange resins to measure nitrogen mineralization and nitrification in intact soil cores. Commun Soil Sci Plant Anal 17(9):989–998Google Scholar
  4. Guo XL, Sun DC, Zhang K, Tian K, Lu XG (2012a) Relationship between aboveground productivity and nutrient cycling in three freshwater wetland types along a water level gradient. Fresenius Environ Bull 21(7):1827–1832Google Scholar
  5. Guo XL, Tian K, Ge XX, Lai JD (2012b) Distribution of organic carbon density and carbon storage in plateau wetland soils in Napahai. J Soil Water Conserv (Chinese) 26(4):159–162Google Scholar
  6. Hanselman TA, Graetz DA, Obreza TA (2004) A comparison of in situ methods for measuring net nitrogen mineralization rates of organic soil amendments. J Environ Qual 33:1098–1105CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Hill AR, Cardaci M (2004) Denitrification and organic carbon availability in riparian wetland soils and subsurface sediments. Soil Sci Soc Am J 68(1):320–325CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Janja H, Vesna P, Aleksandra K, Ljiljana C, Elizabeta H (2009) Water quality and nutrient limitation in an area of the Danube River and an adjoining oxbow lake (1229 algal bioassay. Fresenius Environ Bull 15(1):12–20Google Scholar
  9. Lang M, Cai ZC, Mary B, Hao XY, Chang SX (2010) Land-use type and temperature affect gross nitrogen transformation rates in Chinese and Canadian soils. Plant Soil 334(1):377–389CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Li DJ, Liu J, Chen H, Zheng L, Wang K (2018) Soil gross nitrogen transformations in responses to land use conversion in a subtropical karst region. J Environ Manag 212:1–7CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Liu ZQ, He TY, Cao T, Yang TX, Meng J, Chen WF (2017) Effects of biochar application on nitrogen leaching, ammonia volatilization and nitrogen use efficiency in two distinct soils. J Soil Sci Plant Nutr 17(2):515–528Google Scholar
  12. Liu SY, Zheng RB, Guo XL, Wang X, Chen L, Hou Y W (2018) Effects of yak excreta on soil organic carbon mineralization and microbial communities in alpine wetlands of southwest of china. J Soils Sediments.
  13. Liu FF, Fan JL, Du JH, Shi X, Zhang J, Shen YH (2019) Intensified nitrogen transformation in intermittently aerated constructed wetlands: removal pathways and microbial response mechanism. Sci Total Environ 650(2):2880–2887CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Mitsch WJ, Gosselink JG (2007) Wetlands, 4th edn. John Wiley & Sons, Inc., Hobo-kenGoogle Scholar
  15. Reddy KR, Patrick WH Jr (1984) Nitrogen transformations and loss in flooded soils and sediments. Crit Rev Environ Sci Technol 13(4):273–309Google Scholar
  16. Shrestha J, Niklaus PA, Frossard E, Samaritani E, Huber B, Barnard RL, Schleppi P, Tockner K, Luster J (2012) Soil nitrogen dynamics in a river floodplain mosaic. J Environ Qual 41(6):2033–2045CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Szillery JE, Fernandez IJ, Norton SA, Rustad LE, White AS (2006) Using ion exchange resins to study soil response to experimental watershed acidification. Environ Monit Assess 116:383–398Google Scholar
  18. Templer PH, Groffman PM, Flecker AS, Power AG (2005) Land use change and soil nutrient transformations in the Los Haitises region of the Dominican Republic. Soil Biol Biochem 37(2):215–225CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Tiedje JM, Colwell RK, Grossman YL, Hodson RE, Lenski RE, Mack RN, Regal PJ (1989) The planned introduction of genetically engineered organisms: ecological consideration and recommendations. Ecology 70:298–315CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Tripathi N, Singh RS (2009) Influence of different land uses on soil nitrogen transformations after conversion from an Indian dry tropical forest. Catena 77(3):216–223CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Uri V, Lohmus K, Kund M, Tullus H (2008) The effect of land use type on net nitrogen mineralization on abandoned agricultural land: silver birch stand versus meadow. For Ecol Manag 255(1):226–233CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Wilson JS, Baldwin DS, Rees GN, Wilson BP (2011) The effects of short-term inundation on carbon dynamics, microbial community structure and microbial activity in floodplain soil. River Res Appl 27(2):213–225CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Yang LL, Zhang FS, Mao RZ, Ju XT, Cai XB, Lu YH (2008) Conversion of natural ecosystems to cropland increases the soil net nitrogen mineralization and nitrification in Tibet. Pedosphere 18(6):699–706CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Yang LL, Zhang FS, Gao Q, Mao RZ, Liu XJ (2010) Impact of land-use types on soil nitrogen net mineralization in the sandstorm and water source area of Beijing, China. Catena 82(1):15–22CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Zhong L, Du R, Ding K, Kang XM, Li FYH, Bowatte S, Hoogendoorn CJ, Wang YF, Rui YC, Jiang LL, Wang SP (2014) Effects of grazing on N2O production potential and abundance of nitrifying and denitrifying microbial communities in meadow-steppe meadow in northern China. Soil Biol Biochem 69:1–10Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Sociedad Chilena de la Ciencia del Suelo 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Xuelian Guo
    • 1
  • Li Chen
    • 1
  • Rongbo Zheng
    • 2
    Email author
  • Kun Zhang
    • 1
  • Yuping Qiu
    • 1
  • Haitao Yue
    • 1
  1. 1.National Plateau Wetlands Research CenterSouthwest Forestry UniversityKunmingPeople’s Republic of China
  2. 2.Chemical Engineering CollegeSouthwest Forestry UniversityKunmingPeople’s Republic of China

Personalised recommendations