The Use of Acetylene for the Quantification of N2 and N2O Production from Biological Processes in Soil

  • Leif Klemedtsson
  • Gunbritt Hansson
  • Arvin Mosier
Part of the Federation of European Microbiological Societies Symposium Series book series (FEMS, volume 56)


Losses of nitrogen from soil have many adverse environmental effects. Supplies of potable water may be contaminated by NO 3 leached from agricultural soils, and since the 1970s there has also been concern about the effects of gaseous N-compounds produced from NH 4 + and NO 3 by micro- organisms. The rate of degradation of the Earth’s protective ozone screen is enhanced by N2O (Crutzen, 1983), and N2O also has a significant effect on the Earth’s thermal balance via the greenhouse effect (Lacis et al., 1981). N2 is not harmful to the environment, but the losses of fertilizer nitrogen via denitrification to N2 are economically undesirable. Consequently, it is essential to develop methods for quantitative studies of the nitrogen cycle in soil in order to find ways of minimizing N losses in agriculture and forest management.


Nitrous Oxide Soil Core Denitrification Rate Denitrification Activity Heterotrophic Nitrification 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1990

Authors and Affiliations

  • Leif Klemedtsson
    • 1
  • Gunbritt Hansson
    • 1
  • Arvin Mosier
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of MicrobiologySwedish University of Agricultral SciencesUppsalaSweden
  2. 2.USDA - ARSFort CollinsUSA

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