Seasonal changes of nitrate concentrations in baseflow headwaters of coniferous forests in Japan: A significant indicator for N saturation

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Abstract

Understanding the seasonal and regional patterns of nitrogen (N) components in the headwaters of forested watersheds is important for forests management. Here, we investigated the NO3-N concentration and its seasonal variations in the baseflow headwaters in Japanese coniferous forests with different N saturation status in five regions (i.e., Nagano, Tokyo, Aichi, Kochi and Mie). We found that the ratios of NO3-N to DON were significantly higher in the N-saturated regions including Nagano (14.1 ± 2.2) and Tokyo (16.5 ± 4.1), compared with the regions, which didn't experience N saturation including Aichi (1.4 ± 0.2), Kochi (5.1 ± 1.8), and Mie (2.2 ± 0.5). In comparison with the regions without experiencing N saturation, the relatively higher NO3-N concentration, as well as its contrastive variation between growing season and dormant season, was also characteristic of the seasonal NO3-N concentration in the N-saturated regions. Our findings have indicated that NO3-N concentration, its seasonal variations, and the ratio of NO3-N to DON, are the better and applicable indicators for evaluating N saturation status in Japanese coniferous forests. © 2008 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

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Zhang, Z., Fukushima, T., Shi, P., Tao, F., Onda, Y., Gomi, T., … Matsushige, K. (2008). Seasonal changes of nitrate concentrations in baseflow headwaters of coniferous forests in Japan: A significant indicator for N saturation. Catena, 76(1), 63–69. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.catena.2008.09.007

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