Flux of NOx between Soil and Atmosphere: Importance and Soil Microbial Metabolism

  • Ralf Conrad
Part of the Federation of European Microbiological Societies Symposium Series book series (FEMS, volume 56)


Nitric oxide and nitrogen dioxide (NO + NO2 = NOx) are trace gases which occur only in amounts of less than 1 ppbv in the clean atmosphere. A comparison of the standard redox potentials of NO and NO2 among other biologically relevant nitrogen species is given in Table 5. A comparison of the atmospheric abundance, life time, and major sources and sinks is given in Table 1. The latter data are compiled from SCOPE reports (Söderlund and Svensson, 1976; Crutzen, 1983). Compared to other atmospheric nitrogen compounds the reactivity of NOx is quite large and thus, relatively large fluxes are required to maintain even small atmospheric mixing ratios. On the other hand, even small variations in fluxes result in large variations in the atmospheric mixing ratios. Since atmospheric NOx plays a key role in the chemistry of the atmosphere, the knowledge of the temporal and spatial distribution of sources and sinks of NOx are extremely important for atmospheric models. The role of soils and of microbial denitrification for NOx exchange between terrestrial ecosystems and the atmosphere is presently very uncertain and thus of special interest.


Nitric Oxide Nitrous Oxide Heterotrophic Nitrification Paracoccus Denitrificans Alcaligenes Faecalis 
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© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1990

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ralf Conrad
    • 1
  1. 1.Fakultät für BiologieUniversität KonstanzKonstanzGermany

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