High fire-derived nitrogen deposition on central African forests

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Publisher: National Academy of Sciences
Document Type: Report
Length: 5,494 words
Lexile Measure: 1520L

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Abstract :

Atmospheric nitrogen (N) deposition is an important determinant of N availability for natural ecosystems worldwide. Increased anthropogenic N deposition shifts the stoichiometric equilibrium of ecosystems, with direct and indirect impacts on ecosystem functioning and biogeochemical cycles. Current simulation data suggest that remote tropical forests still receive low atmospheric N deposition due to a lack of proximate industry, low rates of fossil fuel combustion, and absence of intensive agriculture. We present field-based N deposition data for forests of the central Congo Basin, and use ultrahigh-resolution mass spectrometry to characterize the organic N fraction. Additionally, we use satellite data and modeling for atmospheric N source apportionment. Our results indicate that these forests receive 18.2 kg N [hectare.sup.-1] [years.sup.-1] as wet deposition, with dry deposition via canopy interception adding considerably to this flux. We also show that roughly half of the N deposition is organic, which is often ignored in N deposition measurements and simulations. The source of atmospheric N is predominantly derived from intensive seasonal burning of biomass on the continent. This high N deposition has important implications for the ecology of the Congo Basin and for global biogeochemical cycles more broadly. nitrogen deposition | central Africa | Congo Basin | biomass burning | FT-ICR-MS

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Source Citation   

Gale Document Number: GALE|A534678872