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Relative importance of urban and non-urban land-use types for potential denitrification derived N2O: insights from a regional study

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  09 January 2019

Hui-Juan XU
Affiliation:
Key Laboratory of Urban Environment and Health, Institute of Urban Environment, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Xiamen 361021, China. Email: hyyao@iue.ac.cn College of Natural Resources and Environment, South China Agricultural University, Guangzhou 510642, China.
Manuel DELGADO-BAQUERIZO
Affiliation:
Hawkesbury Institute for the Environment, University of Western Sydney, Penrith 2751 New South Wales, Australia.
Fu-Xia PAN
Affiliation:
Key Laboratory of Urban Environment and Health, Institute of Urban Environment, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Xiamen 361021, China. Email: hyyao@iue.ac.cn
Xin-Li AN
Affiliation:
Key Laboratory of Urban Environment and Health, Institute of Urban Environment, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Xiamen 361021, China. Email: hyyao@iue.ac.cn
Brajesh K. SINGH
Affiliation:
Hawkesbury Institute for the Environment, University of Western Sydney, Penrith 2751 New South Wales, Australia. Global Centre for Land-Based Innovation, University of Western Sydney, Penrith 2751 New South Wales, Australia.
Sardar KHAN
Affiliation:
Key Laboratory of Urban Environment and Health, Institute of Urban Environment, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Xiamen 361021, China. Email: hyyao@iue.ac.cn Department of Environmental Sciences, University of Peshawar, Peshawar 25120, Pakistan.
Gang LI
Affiliation:
Key Laboratory of Urban Environment and Health, Institute of Urban Environment, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Xiamen 361021, China. Email: hyyao@iue.ac.cn
Jian-Feng TANG
Affiliation:
Key Laboratory of Urban Environment and Health, Institute of Urban Environment, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Xiamen 361021, China. Email: hyyao@iue.ac.cn
Xiao-Feng ZHAO
Affiliation:
Key Laboratory of Urban Environment and Health, Institute of Urban Environment, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Xiamen 361021, China. Email: hyyao@iue.ac.cn
Huai-Ying YAO
Affiliation:
Key Laboratory of Urban Environment and Health, Institute of Urban Environment, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Xiamen 361021, China. Email: hyyao@iue.ac.cn State Key Lab of Urban and Regional Ecology, Research Center for Eco-environmental Sciences, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100085, China.
Yong-Guan ZHU
Affiliation:
Key Laboratory of Urban Environment and Health, Institute of Urban Environment, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Xiamen 361021, China. Email: hyyao@iue.ac.cn Research Center for Environmental Ecology and Engineering, School of Environmental Ecology and Biological Engineering, Wuhan Institute of Technology, Wuhan 430073, China.
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Abstract

Identifying the relative importance of urban and non-urban land-use types for potential denitrification derived N2O at a regional scale is critical for quantifying the impacts of human activities on nitrous oxide (N2O) emission under changing environments. In this study we used a regional dataset from China including 197 soil samples and six land-use types to evaluate the main predictors (land use, heavy metals, soil pH, soil moisture, substrate availability, functional and broad microbial abundances) of potential denitrification using multivariate and pathway analysis. Our results provide empirical evidence that soils on farms have the greatest potential denitrifying ability (PDA) (10.92±6.08ng N2O-N·g–1 dry soil·min–1) followed by urban soil (6.80±5.35ng N2O-N·g–1 dry soil·min–1). Our models indicate that land use (low vs. high human activity), followed by total nitrogen (TN) and heavy metals (Cu, Zn, Pb, Cd) was the most important driver of PDA. In addition, our path analysis suggests that at least part of the impacts of land use on potential denitrification were mediated via microbial abundance, soil pH and substrates including TN, dissolved organic carbon and nitrate. This study identifies the main predictors of denitrification at a regional scale which is needed to quantify the impact of human activities on ecosystem functionality under changing conditions.

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Copyright © The Royal Society of Edinburgh 2019 

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