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Denitrification

Skiba, Ute. 2008 Denitrification. In: Jorgensen, Sven Eric; Fath, Brian D., (eds.) Encyclopedia of Ecology. Oxford, Elsevier, 866-871.

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Abstract/Summary

Denitrification is the microbial process of reducing nitrate and nitrite to gaseous forms of nitrogen, principally nitrous oxide (N2O) and nitrogen (N2). A large range of microorganims can denitrify. Denitrification is a response to changes in the oxygen (O2) concentration of their immediate environment. Only when O2 is limited will denitrifiers switch from aerobic respiration to anaerobic respiration, using nitrite (NO2) as electron acceptor. Denitrification is a process ubiquitous to all our terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems and occurs in tropical and temperate soils, in natural and intensively managed ecosystems, in marine and freshwater environments, in wastewater treatment plants, manure stores, and aquifers. It is a beneficial process in removing nitrate (NO3) from wastewater, but has a negative effect in removing valuable nitrogen fertilizer from the soil and releasing the greenhouse gas N2O and the tropospheric pollutant NO. This article summarizes current knowledge on the groups of microorganisms involved in denitrification, the environmental conditions required for denitrification to take place, and how we measure and model denitrification rates.

Item Type: Publication - Book Section
Programmes: CEH Programmes pre-2009 publications > Biogeochemistry > BG01 Measuring and modelling trace gas, aerosol and carbon > BG01.1 UK nitrogen and sulphur compounds
CEH Sections: Billett
ISBN: 0444520333
NORA Subject Terms: Ecology and Environment
Related URLs:
Date made live: 31 Aug 2011 15:20
URI: http://nora.nerc.ac.uk/id/eprint/13470

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