The role of nitrifier denitrification in the production of nitrous oxide revisited

Nicole Wrage-Mönnig*, Marcus A. Horn, Reinhard Well, Christoph Müller, Gerard Velthof, Oene Oenema

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

31 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Nitrifier denitrification is the reduction of nitrite (NO2 −) by ammonia-oxidizing bacteria. This process may account for up to 100% of nitrous oxide (N2O) emissions from ammonium (NH4 +) in soils and is more significant than classical denitrification under some conditions. Investigations of nitrifier denitrification have expanded in the last decade but many aspects are still not understood. In this review, we revisit our 2001 paper, present a comprehensive summary of current knowledge concerning nitrifier denitrification, and identify the many research needs. Nitrifier denitrification can be distinguished from other routes of N2O production using isotopic methods: either isotopomer techniques or a combination of 15N and 18O tracers. Our understanding of the regulation and conditions favouring nitrifier denitrification has improved over the last decade as a result of adopting molecular and modelling approaches. Environments low in oxygen, and especially those with fluctuating aerobic-anaerobic conditions, promote N2O production by nitrifier denitrification. Also, large NO2 − concentrations, which often arise following inputs of ammonium or urea, may be linked to changes in aerobicity and high pH and favour nitrifier denitrification. The effects of temperature and carbon contents on nitrifier denitrification are incompletely understood and future research needs include: the study of pathways similar to nitrifier denitrification in archaea and nitrite oxidizers; the effects of interactions among microorganisms and between microorganism and plants; and the regulation and importance of the enzymes involved. A comparison and evaluation of the methods used for differentiating the sources of N2O is urgently needed. Furthermore, results from studies of freshwater and marine environments as well as wastewater treatment, where nitrifier denitrification is also known as nitrous aerobic denitritation (up to N2O) or aerobic denitritation (up to N2), will further advance our understanding.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)A3-A16
JournalSoil Biology and Biochemistry
Volume123
Early online date17 Apr 2018
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2018

Fingerprint

Denitrification
Nitrous Oxide
nitrous oxide
denitrification
nitrogen dioxide
Nitrites
Ammonium Compounds
nitrites
nitrite
ammonium
microorganism
microorganisms
freshwater environment
Archaea
Waste Water
wastewater treatment
Fresh Water
Ammonia
oxidants
anaerobic conditions

Keywords

  • Denitritation
  • Isotopomers
  • Modelling
  • Molecular methods
  • NO
  • Nitrite
  • Stable isotopes

Cite this

Wrage-Mönnig, Nicole ; Horn, Marcus A. ; Well, Reinhard ; Müller, Christoph ; Velthof, Gerard ; Oenema, Oene. / The role of nitrifier denitrification in the production of nitrous oxide revisited. In: Soil Biology and Biochemistry. 2018 ; Vol. 123. pp. A3-A16.
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The role of nitrifier denitrification in the production of nitrous oxide revisited. / Wrage-Mönnig, Nicole; Horn, Marcus A.; Well, Reinhard; Müller, Christoph; Velthof, Gerard; Oenema, Oene.

In: Soil Biology and Biochemistry, Vol. 123, 08.2018, p. A3-A16.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

TY - JOUR

T1 - The role of nitrifier denitrification in the production of nitrous oxide revisited

AU - Wrage-Mönnig, Nicole

AU - Horn, Marcus A.

AU - Well, Reinhard

AU - Müller, Christoph

AU - Velthof, Gerard

AU - Oenema, Oene

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N2 - Nitrifier denitrification is the reduction of nitrite (NO2 −) by ammonia-oxidizing bacteria. This process may account for up to 100% of nitrous oxide (N2O) emissions from ammonium (NH4 +) in soils and is more significant than classical denitrification under some conditions. Investigations of nitrifier denitrification have expanded in the last decade but many aspects are still not understood. In this review, we revisit our 2001 paper, present a comprehensive summary of current knowledge concerning nitrifier denitrification, and identify the many research needs. Nitrifier denitrification can be distinguished from other routes of N2O production using isotopic methods: either isotopomer techniques or a combination of 15N and 18O tracers. Our understanding of the regulation and conditions favouring nitrifier denitrification has improved over the last decade as a result of adopting molecular and modelling approaches. Environments low in oxygen, and especially those with fluctuating aerobic-anaerobic conditions, promote N2O production by nitrifier denitrification. Also, large NO2 − concentrations, which often arise following inputs of ammonium or urea, may be linked to changes in aerobicity and high pH and favour nitrifier denitrification. The effects of temperature and carbon contents on nitrifier denitrification are incompletely understood and future research needs include: the study of pathways similar to nitrifier denitrification in archaea and nitrite oxidizers; the effects of interactions among microorganisms and between microorganism and plants; and the regulation and importance of the enzymes involved. A comparison and evaluation of the methods used for differentiating the sources of N2O is urgently needed. Furthermore, results from studies of freshwater and marine environments as well as wastewater treatment, where nitrifier denitrification is also known as nitrous aerobic denitritation (up to N2O) or aerobic denitritation (up to N2), will further advance our understanding.

AB - Nitrifier denitrification is the reduction of nitrite (NO2 −) by ammonia-oxidizing bacteria. This process may account for up to 100% of nitrous oxide (N2O) emissions from ammonium (NH4 +) in soils and is more significant than classical denitrification under some conditions. Investigations of nitrifier denitrification have expanded in the last decade but many aspects are still not understood. In this review, we revisit our 2001 paper, present a comprehensive summary of current knowledge concerning nitrifier denitrification, and identify the many research needs. Nitrifier denitrification can be distinguished from other routes of N2O production using isotopic methods: either isotopomer techniques or a combination of 15N and 18O tracers. Our understanding of the regulation and conditions favouring nitrifier denitrification has improved over the last decade as a result of adopting molecular and modelling approaches. Environments low in oxygen, and especially those with fluctuating aerobic-anaerobic conditions, promote N2O production by nitrifier denitrification. Also, large NO2 − concentrations, which often arise following inputs of ammonium or urea, may be linked to changes in aerobicity and high pH and favour nitrifier denitrification. The effects of temperature and carbon contents on nitrifier denitrification are incompletely understood and future research needs include: the study of pathways similar to nitrifier denitrification in archaea and nitrite oxidizers; the effects of interactions among microorganisms and between microorganism and plants; and the regulation and importance of the enzymes involved. A comparison and evaluation of the methods used for differentiating the sources of N2O is urgently needed. Furthermore, results from studies of freshwater and marine environments as well as wastewater treatment, where nitrifier denitrification is also known as nitrous aerobic denitritation (up to N2O) or aerobic denitritation (up to N2), will further advance our understanding.

KW - Denitritation

KW - Isotopomers

KW - Modelling

KW - Molecular methods

KW - NO

KW - Nitrite

KW - Stable isotopes

U2 - 10.1016/j.soilbio.2018.03.020

DO - 10.1016/j.soilbio.2018.03.020

M3 - Article

VL - 123

SP - A3-A16

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JF - Soil Biology and Biochemistry

SN - 0038-0717

ER -