Impact of microbial activity on the leaching of soluble N forms in soil

Alison Carswell, P. W. Hill, D. L. Jones, M. S. A. Blackwell, Penny Johnes, E. Dixon, D. Chadwick

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)
318 Downloads (Pure)


The hydrological transport of low-molecular weight organic nitrogen (LMWON) compounds has received little attention in the literature, particularly relative to inorganic nitrogen (N), with less attention given to the decoupling of the carbon (C) and N cycles following rainfall events. We determined the impacts of the soil biota on the transport of N compounds in a loam soil, using 15N and 13C to trace the vertical transport of 15N13C-urea, 15N13C-amino acids, 15NO3, and 15NH4 through the soil profile, following simulated rainfall events. This research has demonstrated that biotic assimilation leads to rapid decoupling of the C and N cycles during leaching, with C transport limited to the soil surface (< 2 cm), whereas N which was stored within the soil profile during a single rainfall event could be remobilised and leached (a further 2–6 cm) following an additional rainfall event.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)21-25
Number of pages5
JournalBiological Fertility of Soils
Issue number1
Early online date19 Oct 2017
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2018


  • Amino acids
  • DON
  • Immobilisation
  • Leaching
  • Mobilisation
  • Urea


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