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Journal of Arid Land  2013, Vol. 5 Issue (2): 155-165    DOI: 10.1007/s40333-013-0149-z
Research Articles     
Ammonia emissions from soil under sheep grazing in Inner Mongolian grasslands of China
YunHai ZHANG1,2, NianPeng HE3, GuangMing ZHANG1, JianHui HUANG1, QiBing WANG1, QingMin PAN1, XingGuo HAN1,4
1 State Key Laboratory of Vegetation and Environmental Change, Institute of Botany, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100093, China;
2 University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049, China;
3 Synthesis Research Center of Chinese Ecosystem Research Network, Institute of Geographical Sciences and Natural Resources Research, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100101, China;
4 State Key Laboratory of Forest and Soil Ecology, Institute of Applied Ecology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Shenyang
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Abstract  Ammonia (NH3) emission and redeposition play a major role in terrestrial nitrogen (N) cycles and can also cause environmental problems, such as changes in biodiversity, soil acidity, and eutrophication. Previous field grazing experiments showed inconsistent (positive, neutral, and negative) NH3 volatilization from soils in response to varying grazing intensities. However, it remains unclear whether, or to what extent, NH3 emissions from soil are affected by increasing grazing intensities in Inner Mongolian grasslands. Using a 5-year grazing experiment, we investigated the relationship between NH3 volatilization from soil and grazing pressure (0.0, 3.0, 6.0, and 9.0 sheep/hm2) from June to September of 2009 and 2010 via the vented-chamber method. The results show that soil NH3 volatilization was not significantly different at different grazing intensities in 2009, although it was higher at the highest stocking rate during 2010. There was no significant linear relationship between soil NH3 volatilization rates and soil NH4+-N, but soil NH3 volatilization rates were significantly related to soil water content and air temperature. Grazing intensities had no significant influence on soil NH3 volatilization. Soil NH3 emissions from June to September (grazing period), averaged over all grazing intensities, were 9.6±0.2 and 19.0±0.2 kg N/hm2 in 2009 and 2010, respectively. Moreover, linear equations describing monthly air temperature and precipitation showed a good fit to changes in soil NH3 emissions (r=0.506, P=0.014). Overall, grazing intensities had less influence than that of climatic factors on soil NH3 emissions. Our findings provide new insights into the effects of grazing on NH3 volatilization from soil in Inner Mongolian grasslands, and have important implications for understanding N cycles in grassland ecosystems and for estimating soil NH3 emissions on a regional scale.

Key wordsdrip irrigation      furrow irrigation      N application rate      N utilization efficiency      N recovery      Gossypium hirsutum     
Received: 26 September 2012      Published: 01 June 2013

The National Natural Science Foundation of China (30830026), the National Basic Research Program of China (2009CB825103), and the Innovative Research Group Project of the National Natural Science Foundation of China (30821062)

Corresponding Authors: XingGuo HAN     E-mail:
Cite this article:

YunHai ZHANG, NianPeng HE, GuangMing ZHANG, JianHui HUANG, QiBing WANG, QingMin PAN, XingGuo HAN. Ammonia emissions from soil under sheep grazing in Inner Mongolian grasslands of China. Journal of Arid Land, 2013, 5(2): 155-165.

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