EGU23-6382, updated on 08 Jun 2023
EGU General Assembly 2023
© Author(s) 2023. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Modeling coupled nitrification-denitrification in manure-amended soil

Jie Zhang1, Elisabeth Larsen Kolstad1, Wenxin Zhang2, Per-Erik Jansson3, Iris Vogeler Cronin1, and Søren O. Petersen1
Jie Zhang et al.
  • 1Department of Agroecology, Aarhus University, Tjele, Denmark
  • 2Department of Physical Geography and Ecosystem Science, Lund University, Lund, Sweden
  • 3Department of Land and Water Resources Engineering, Royal Institute of Technology (KTH), Stockholm, Sweden

The flux of nitrous oxide (N2O) from the soil to the atmosphere is an important contributor to the global greenhouse effect. Spatial variation in the distribution of factors that drive N2O producing processes often creates hotspots within soil that are difficult to quantify and model, and this is particularly the case after manure amendment. In the stagnant soil matrix, solute diffusion is crucial in supplying the nitrate (NO3-)to nearby zones, i.e., hotspots, to maintain a locally high NO3- reduction. To provide detailed insight into the spatiotemporal variability of nitrogen (N) transformations around N2O hotspots, we propose a multi-species, reactive transport model containing kinetic reactions of soil respiration, nitrification, nitrifier denitrification, and denitrification, built on a system of partial differential equations. The model was used to simulate the amount of N2O, dinitrogen (N2) and carbon dioxide (CO2) emitted from a 10 cm soil profile with time, and concentration profiles of crucial intermediates. The measured N2O and N2 fluxes correlate well with the model simulations, with a simulated stratification of growing nitrifying and denitrify activities in and around the manure hotspot which is consistent with previous incubation experiments. N2O evolution was sensitive to the initial setup of oxygen (O2) availability, and anaerobic condition was maintained in the saturated manure zone throughout the simulation period, demonstrating the necessity of simulating the heterogeneity within soil in N2O models. Simulation experiments will be conducted to assess the effects of solute diffusion on N transformations. We anticipate that diffusive NO3- transport to be crucial to facilitate the coupled nitrification-denitrification around the manure zone. Neglecting such a process in process models may make it difficult to reflect the rapid turnover of nitrogen pool around organic hotspots and underestimate N2O emissions. The model and its parameters allows for new detailed insight into N2O formation processes in heterogeneous environments.

How to cite: Zhang, J., Kolstad, E. L., Zhang, W., Jansson, P.-E., Cronin, I. V., and Petersen, S. O.: Modeling coupled nitrification-denitrification in manure-amended soil, EGU General Assembly 2023, Vienna, Austria, 23–28 Apr 2023, EGU23-6382,, 2023.