Nitrate in soil humic acids revealed by 14N nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy.
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cosystem management such as plant residue retention and prescribed burning can significantly affect soil organic matter (SOM) composition and, thereby, the closely associated carbon (C) and nitrogen (N) cycling processes, which underpin terrestrial ecosystem productivity and sustainability. Humic acid (HA) is an important SOM component and its chemical composition has attracted much attention. Here we report the first application of 14N nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy to soil HA study, revealing the surprising existence of nitrate-N and ammonia-N in the HAs. This newly discovered HA nitrate-N, though in a relatively low concentrations, is closely related to soil N availability and responsive to plant residue management regimes in contrasting forest ecosystems. The HA nitrate-N may be a useful and sensitive biochemical indicator of SOM quality in response to different ecosystem management regimes.
Australian Journal of Soil Research
Copyright 2002 CSIRO. Please refer to the journal's website for access to the definitive, published version.