Dissimilatory nitrate reduction to ammonium (DNRA) is marginal relative to denitrification in emerging-eroding wetlands in a subtropical oligohaline and eutrophic coastal delta
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Dissimilatory nitrate reduction to ammonium (DNRA) is marginal relative to denitrification in emerging-eroding wetlands in a subtropical oligohaline and eutrophic coastal delta

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  • Journal Title:
    Science of The Total Environment
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    Nitrate (NO3−) and ammonium (NH4+) are reactive nitrogen (Nr) forms that can exacerbate eutrophication in coastal regions. NO3− can be lost to the atmosphere as N2 gas driven by direct denitrification, coupled nitrification-denitrification and annamox or retained within the ecosystems through conversion of NO3− to NH4+ via dissimilatory nitrate reduction to ammonium (DNRA). Denitrification and DNRA are competitive pathways and hence it is critical to evaluate their functional biogeochemical role. However, there is limited information about the environmental factors driving DNRA in oligohaline habitats, especially within deltaic regions where steep salinity gradients define wetland spatiotemporal distribution. Here we use the Isotope Pairing Technique to evaluate the effect of temperature (10, 20, 30 °C) and in situ soil/sediment organic matter (OM%) on total denitrification (Dtotal = direct + coupled nitrification) and DNRA rates in oligohaline forested/marsh wetlands soils and benthic sediment habitats at two sites representing prograding (Wax Lake Delta, WLD) and eroding (Barataria- Lake Cataouatche, BLC) deltaic stages in the Mississippi River Delta Plain (MRDP). Both sites receive MR water with high NO3− (>40 μM) concentrations during the year via river diversions. Denitrification rates were significantly higher (range: 18.0 ± 0.4–113.0 ± 10.6 μmol m−2 h−1) than DNRA rates (range: 0.7 ± 0.2–9.2 ± 0.3 μmol m−2 h−1). Therefore, DNRA represented on average < 10% of the total NO3− reduction (DNRA + Dtotal). Unlike denitrification, DNRA showed no consistent response to temperature. These results indicate that DNRA in wetland soils and benthic sediment is not a major nitrogen transformation in oligohaline regions across the MRDP regardless of wide range of OM% content in these eroding and prograding delta lobes.
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    Science of The Total Environment, 819, 152942
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    0048-9697
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    Accepted Manuscript
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