Fluxes of nitrous oxide and methane from nitrogen-amended soils in a Colorado alpine ecosystem

In order to determine the effect of increased nitrogen inputs on fluxed of N2O and CH4 from alpine soils, we measured fluxes of these gases from fertilized and unfertilized soils in wet and dry alpine meadows. In the dry meadow, the addition of nitrogen resulted in a 22-fold increase in N2O emissions, while in the wet meadow, we observed a 45-fold increase in N2O emission rates. CH4 uptake in the dry meadow was reduced 52% by fertilization; however, net CH4 production occurred in all the wet meadow plots and emission rates were not significantly affected by fertilization. Net nitrification rates in the dry meadow were higher in fertilized plots than in non-fertilized plots throughout the growing season; net mineralization rates in fertilized dry meadow pots were higher than those in non-fertilized plots during the latter half of the growing season.