Soil nitrogen transformations under elevated atmospheric CO₂ and O₃ during the soybean growing season

Environ Pollut. 2011 Feb;159(2):401-7. doi: 10.1016/j.envpol.2010.10.033. Epub 2010 Nov 27.


We investigated the influence of elevated CO(2) and O(3) on soil N cycling within the soybean growing season and across soil environments (i.e., rhizosphere and bulk soil) at the Soybean Free Air Concentration Enrichment (SoyFACE) experiment in Illinois, USA. Elevated O(3) decreased soil mineral N likely through a reduction in plant material input and increased denitrification, which was evidenced by the greater abundance of the denitrifier gene nosZ. Elevated CO(2) did not alter the parameters evaluated and both elevated CO(2) and O(3) showed no interactive effects on nitrifier and denitrifier abundance, nor on total and mineral N concentrations. These results indicate that elevated CO(2) may have limited effects on N transformations in soybean agroecosystems. However, elevated O(3) can lead to a decrease in soil N availability in both bulk and rhizosphere soils, and this likely also affects ecosystem productivity by reducing the mineralization rates of plant-derived residues.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Air / analysis*
  • Bacteria / genetics
  • Bacteria / isolation & purification
  • Bacteria / metabolism
  • Bacterial Proteins / genetics
  • Bacterial Proteins / metabolism
  • Biotransformation
  • Carbon Dioxide / analysis*
  • Carbon Dioxide / metabolism
  • Nitrates / metabolism
  • Nitrogen / metabolism*
  • Ozone / analysis*
  • Ozone / metabolism
  • Quaternary Ammonium Compounds / metabolism
  • Seasons
  • Soil / analysis*
  • Soil Microbiology*
  • Soybeans / growth & development
  • Soybeans / metabolism*
  • Soybeans / microbiology


  • Bacterial Proteins
  • Nitrates
  • Quaternary Ammonium Compounds
  • Soil
  • Carbon Dioxide
  • Ozone
  • Nitrogen