Journal article

Nitrification driven by bacteria and not archaea in nitrogen-rich grassland soils

HJ Di, KC Cameron, JP Shen, CS Winefield, M O'Callaghan, S Bowatte, JZ He

NATURE GEOSCIENCE | NATURE PORTFOLIO | Published : 2009

Abstract

The oxidation of ammonia to nitrate, nitrification, is a key process in the nitrogen cycle. Ammonia-oxidizing archaea are present in large numbers in the ocean and soils, suggesting a potential role for archaea, in addition to bacteria, in the global nitrogen cycle. However, the importance of archaea to nitrification in agricultural soils is not well understood. Here, we examine the contribution of ammonia-oxidizing archaea and bacteria to nitrification in six grassland soils in New Zealand using a quantitative polymerase chain reaction. We show that although ammonia-oxidizing archaea are present in large numbers in these soils, neither their abundance nor their activity increased with the a..

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University of Melbourne Researchers

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Funding Acknowledgements

We would like to thank the New Zealand Foundation for Research, Science and Technology (FRST) for funding, R. Monaghan, S. Ledgard and M. Sheppard of AgResearch and B. Thorrold and D. Waugh of Dairy NZ for assistance with soil sampling, and E. Gerard and S. Brock of AgResearch and J. Lei, S. Moore, C. Barlow and T. Hendry of Lincoln University for technical support.