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A Reservoir of Nitrate Beneath Desert Soils

Science

By:
, , , , , , and
DOI: 10.1126/science.1086435

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Abstract

A large reservoir of bioavailable nitrogen (upto ???104 kilograms of nitrogen per hectare, as nitrate) has been previously overlooked in studies of global nitrogen distribution. The reservoir has been accumulating in subsoil zones of and regions throughout the Holocene. Consideration of the subsoil reservoir raises estimates of vadose-zone nitrogen inventories by 14 to 71% for warm deserts and arid shrublands worldwide and by 3 to 16% globally. Subsoil nitrate accumulation indicates long-term leaching from desert soils, impelling further evaluation of nutrient dynamics in xeric ecosystems. Evidence that subsoil accumulations are readily mobilized raises concern about groundwater contamination after land-use or climate change.

Additional Publication Details

Publication type:
Article
Publication Subtype:
Journal Article
Title:
A Reservoir of Nitrate Beneath Desert Soils
Series title:
Science
DOI:
10.1126/science.1086435
Volume
302
Issue:
5647
Year Published:
2003
Language:
English
Larger Work Type:
Article
Larger Work Subtype:
Journal Article
Larger Work Title:
Science
First page:
1021
Last page:
1024