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PLoS One. 2013 Jun 26;8(6):e67018. Print 2013.

Atmospheric Nitrogen Deposition at Two Sites in an Arid Environment of Central Asia.

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  • 1Key Laboratory of Biogeography and Bioresource in Arid Land, Xinjiang Institute of Ecology and Geography, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Urumqi, China.


Arid areas play a significant role in the global nitrogen cycle. Dry and wet deposition of inorganic nitrogen (N) species were monitored at one urban (SDS) and one suburban (TFS) site at Urumqi in a semi-arid region of central Asia. Atmospheric concentrations of NH3, NO2, HNO3, particulate ammonium and nitrate (pNH4 + and pNO3 -) concentrations and NH4-N and NO3-N concentrations in precipitation showed large monthly variations and averaged 7.1, 26.6, 2.4, 6.6, 2.7 µg N m-3 and 1.3, 1.0 mg N L-1 at both SDS and TFS. Nitrogen dry deposition fluxes were 40.7 and 36.0 kg N ha-1 yr-1 while wet deposition of N fluxes were 6.0 and 8.8 kg N ha-1 yr-1 at SDS and TFS, respectively. Total N deposition averaged 45.8 kg N ha-1 yr-1at both sites. Our results indicate that N dry deposition has been a major part of total N deposition (83.8% on average) in an arid region of central Asia. Such high N deposition implies heavy environmental pollution and an important nutrient resource in arid regions.

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