Nitrogen Transformations in Stream Sediments: 15N Studies

    Published: Jan 1979

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    Laboratory studies were carried out on sediment samples taken from a perennial stream draining an agronomic watershed. Columns of sediment were placed in acrylic plastic tubes, overlain with isotopically labeled nitrate, and incubated at 15°C. An optical emission spectrometer was used to determine the excess 15N in each of the NO3, NH4, and organic nitrogen fractions at various times. It was concluded that the previously observed loss of nitrate from aerated water overlying stream sediment was indeed the result of denitrification. It was also established that nitrification and denitrification were proceeding simultaneously and that less than 2 percent of the added labeled nitrogen was immobilized.


    denitrification, nitrification, immobilization, N transformation, eutrophication, nitrogen cycle, optical emission spectrometry, mass spectrometry, 15, N tracer, streams, sediments

    Author Information:

    Chatarpaul, L
    Former research assistant and professorresearch fellow, University,

    Robinson, JB
    Former research assistant and professorresearch fellow, University,

    Committee/Subcommittee: D19.07

    DOI: 10.1520/STP38145S

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