Final Report for DOE grant no. DE-FG02-04ER63883: Can soil genomics predict the impact of precipitation on nitrous oxide flux from soil

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Nitrous oxide is a potent greenhouse gas that is released by microorganisms in soil. However, the production of nitrous oxide in soil is highly variable and difficult to predict. Future climate change may have large impacts on nitrous oxide release through alteration of precipitation patterns. We analyzed DNA extracted from soil in order to uncover relationships between microbial processes, abundance of particular DNA sequences and net nitrous oxide fluxes from soil. Denitrification, a microbial process in which nitrate is used as an electron acceptor, correlated with nitrous oxide flux from soil. The abundance of ammonia oxidizing archaea correlated positively, but ... continued below

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Schwartz, Egbert December 15, 2008.

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Nitrous oxide is a potent greenhouse gas that is released by microorganisms in soil. However, the production of nitrous oxide in soil is highly variable and difficult to predict. Future climate change may have large impacts on nitrous oxide release through alteration of precipitation patterns. We analyzed DNA extracted from soil in order to uncover relationships between microbial processes, abundance of particular DNA sequences and net nitrous oxide fluxes from soil. Denitrification, a microbial process in which nitrate is used as an electron acceptor, correlated with nitrous oxide flux from soil. The abundance of ammonia oxidizing archaea correlated positively, but weakly, with nitrous oxide production in soil. The abundance of bacterial genes in soil was negatively correlated with gross nitrogen mineralization rates and nitrous oxide release from soil. We suggest that the most important control over nitrous oxide production in soil is the growth and death of microorganisms. When organisms are growing nitrogen is incorporated into their biomass and nitrous oxide flux is low. In contrast, when microorganisms die, due to predation or infection by viruses, inorganic nitrogen is released into the soil resulting in nitrous oxide release. Higher rates of precipitation increase access to microorganisms by predators or viruses through filling large soil pores with water and therefore can lead to large releases of nitrous oxide from soil. We developed a new technique, stable isotope probing with 18O-water, to study growth and mortality of microorganisms in soil.

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371 kb

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  • Report No.: DOE/ER/63883
  • Grant Number: FG02-04ER63883
  • DOI: 10.2172/944079 | External Link
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 944079
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc896013

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Office of Scientific and Technical Information (OSTI) is the Department of Energy (DOE) office that collects, preserves, and disseminates DOE-sponsored research and development (R&D) results that are the outcomes of R&D projects or other funded activities at DOE labs and facilities nationwide and grantees at universities and other institutions.

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  • December 15, 2008

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  • Sept. 27, 2016, 1:39 a.m.

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  • Nov. 7, 2016, 3:01 p.m.

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Schwartz, Egbert. Final Report for DOE grant no. DE-FG02-04ER63883: Can soil genomics predict the impact of precipitation on nitrous oxide flux from soil, report, December 15, 2008; United States. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc896013/: accessed October 16, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.