Changes in nitrogen transformations in forest soil as a result of sprinkling infiltration

Finnish Forest Research Institute, Rovaniemi Research Station, Box 16, FIN-96301 Rovaniemi, Finland
Environmental Pollution (Impact Factor: 4.14). 12/1998; 102(1):421-426. DOI: 10.1016/S0269-7491(98)80063-8


Sprinkling infiltration through forest soil is a relatively new technique for generating artificial groundwater reserves to supplement urban water supplies in Finland. The aim of this study was to determine the effects of infiltration and surface runoff, resulting from sprinkling infiltration, on the acidity status and nitrogen transformations in forest soil and in percolation water. The amount of infiltrated water applied annually during the study period was more than 2000 times greater than natural annual recharge in the area. The study area is located on an esker in southern Finland (Ahvenisto, Hämeenlinna). The tree cover on the relatively fertile site consisted of Scots pine and Norway spruce. The results obtained during the first two years of the project indicated that the pH(H2O) of the organic layer of the soil had increased strongly due to sprinkling infiltration. The original pH of the organic layer was 4.7–5.1, and infiltration increased the pH to 6.5. The pH of percolation water collected below the organic layer increased strongly as a result of infiltration (>6.7 during infiltration). The pH of the infiltration water is about 7.0, which is higher than that of precipitation in the area (4.5). Sprinkling infiltration initiated net nitrification due to the elevated pH and increased ammonium availability. Infiltration increased emissions of N2O from the soil. During breaks in the infiltration treatment the leaching of NO3 from the topsoil was considerable compared to that on the control plots.

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    • "The sprinkling in®ltration area was divided into ®ve plots (H625 m 2 ), representing two controls (plots 1 and 4), continuous in®ltration during the summertime (plot 2), periodical in®ltration during the summertime (plot 3) and continuous in®ltration during the wintertime (plot 5). The dominant tree species on plots 1, 2 and 3 was Scots pine and on plots 4 and 5 Norway spruce (Lindroos et al., 1998) and for this reason plot 1 served as a control for plots 2 and 3 and plot 4 served as a control for plot 5. Each plot was further divided into three subplots. "
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    ABSTRACT: In Ahvenisto esker, southern Finland, artificial recharging of groundwater has been done by sprinkling infiltration, i.e. by sprinkling lake water directly onto forest soil. Due to infiltration, the pH of the humus layer rose from about 5 to 6.5, nitrification was initiated and the fluxes of N2O and leaching of nitrate from the soil increased. Our aim was to study nitrogen transformations in different soil layers and to determine the response of nitrification to pH. Nitrification in ammonium-enriched soil suspensions was pH-dependant in a gradient from 4.7 to 6.7. In the soils subjected to infiltration, the production of (NO2+NO3)-N was inhibited by decreasing the pH to 5.3 or lower. Low pH also led to decreased numbers of nitrifiers. In the soils not subjected to infiltration (control soils), (NO2+NO3)-N production initiated at pH 6.7 and the numbers of nitrifiers increased. In incubation experiments, with no added ammonium, the adjustment of pH to 6.7 also initiated nitrification in the control soils. Thus, increase in soil pH was the main reason for initiation of nitrification at this site. During infiltration, N2O was produced mainly by denitrification and approximately 75% of the denitrification products was N2. In the samples from the humus layer, the concentrations of (NO2+NO3)-N, the net production of mineral N and net nitrification were in general less, whereas denitrification enzyme activity and denitrification potential were higher than in the samples from the mineral soil layer. The mineral soil may therefore contribute substantially to the leaching of nitrate.
    Soil Biology and Biochemistry 05/2000; 32(5):669-678. DOI:10.1016/S0038-0717(99)00194-7 · 3.93 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Sprinkling infiltration in a forested esker leading to artificial recharge of groundwater was studied in Southern Finland. Changes in dissolved organic carbon (DOC) and the molecular size distribution and chemical properties of the organic carbon were investigated during the infiltration process. Artificial groundwater was produced using sprinkling infiltration directly onto the forest floor. One result of lake water infiltration through the organic horizon and I m thick mineral soil layer was a slight net increase in the DOC concentrations from 9.4 mg/L in the infiltration water to 13.2 mg/ L in percolation water. This indicates that the forest soil represents a potential input of organic matter into infiltration water. However, the DOC concentrations decreased by 27-38% as the infiltration water percolated down through the unsaturated soil layer into the groundwater zone. At a distance of 1450 m from the infiltration area, the mean DOC concentration in the groundwater was below the recommended value for drinking water in Finland of 2.0 mg/L. There was a strong reduction in the concentrations of hydrophilic and hydrophobic acids, but only a slight decrease in hydrophilic neutral organic compounds during the infiltration process. The DOC in the production well consisted of low molecular size fractions. Larger molecular size fractions were removed effectively from the water during the infiltration process.
    Water Research 01/2003; 36(20):4951-8. DOI:10.1016/S0043-1354(02)00226-9 · 5.53 Impact Factor
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