Nitrogen cycling and land cover change

John Blair, PhD

Division of Biology

In situ studies of nitrogen cycling processes were studied, following the work done in 2003. Particularly, the study looked at monthly estimates of N mineralization and net nitrification. A full year's worth of data is required to estimate annual rates of soil N supply, as well as address potential changes in the seasonality of N cycling as a result of land-cover change. Graduate student Duncan McKinley continued to do 15N tracer approaches to asses gross rates of ammonification and nitrification in grassland and woodland sites.

Field research was done adding the 15N to intact soil cores. Putting this research in a field setting was important, as it allowed them to address the importance of microclimatic changes resulting from land-cover change as a driver of altered N cycling in juniper woodlands.

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