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Characterization of the key pathways of dissimilatory nitrate reduction and their response to complex organic substrates in hyporheic sediments

Lansdown, K and Trimmer, Mark and Heppell, C.M. and Sgouridis, F and Ullah, Sami and Heathwaite, Louise and Binley, Andrew and Zhang, Hao (2012) Characterization of the key pathways of dissimilatory nitrate reduction and their response to complex organic substrates in hyporheic sediments. Limnology and Oceanography, 57 (2). pp. 387-400. ISSN 0024-3590

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Abstract

ABSTRACT: Laboratory incubations with river-bed sediment collected from riffles and pools were used to quantify potential pathways of dissimilatory nitrate reduction in the hyporheic zone of a groundwater-fed river. Sediments collected from between 5-cm and 86-cm depth in the bed of the River Leith, Cumbria, United Kingdom, were incubated with a suite of 15N-labeled substrates (15NO-3, 15NH+4, and 14NO-3) to quantify nitrate reduction via denitrification, dissimilatory nitrate reduction to ammonium (DNRA), and anaerobic ammonium oxidation (anammox). Denitrification was the dominant pathway of dissimilatory nitrate reduction in the hyporheic sediments, although recovery of 15N from the ammonium pool indicated that DNRA was also active. The potential for anammox was confirmed by the production of 29N2 during the 15NH+4 and 14NO-3 incubation, but it was much smaller than denitrification. Potential rates of denitrification were highest in shallow sediments and decayed exponentially with depth thereafter. There were clear differences in denitrification activity between riffle and pool sediments. After the production of 15N-N2 had stabilized, we added a spike of bacteriological peptone to determine the effect of complex organic substrates on denitrification potential. The potential rate of denitrification increased uniformly at all sediment depths but the total amount of denitrification fueled by the organic substrates decreased markedly with depth, from 90% in the shallow sediments to 30% in the deepest sediments. In addition, a considerable fraction of the 15NO-3 could not be accounted for, which suggested that up to 87% of it had been assimilated in the deepest sediments.

Item Type: Article
Journal or Publication Title: Limnology and Oceanography
Subjects: UNSPECIFIED
Departments: Faculty of Science and Technology > Lancaster Environment Centre
ID Code: 52432
Deposited By: ep_importer_pure
Deposited On: 31 Jan 2012 16:44
Refereed?: Yes
Published?: Published
Last Modified: 09 Apr 2014 23:02
Identification Number:
URI: http://eprints.lancs.ac.uk/id/eprint/52432

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