Date of Award:


Document Type:


Degree Name:

Master of Science (MS)


Plants, Soils, and Climate


A. R. Southard


This experiment was designed to measure in situ concentrations of NH4+ and NO3--N in a soil of the arctic coastal tundra plain, to determine if nitrification was taking place in this soil and to determine if the vascular plants growing in this soil could assimilate NH4+-N.

The extractable NH4+-N concentration was approximately 40 μg/g in the 01 horizon and 10 μg/g in the 02 horizon. The NO3--N concentration was approximately 5 μg/g in the 01 horizon and 4 μg/g in the 02 horizon.

The presence of NO3--N in this soil indicates that nitrification is taking place but perfusion experiments indicate that it is not bacterial nitrification. Fungi may be responsible for nitrification in this soil.

Corex aquatilis, a common plant in the study area, was found to readily assimilate NH4+-N as well as NO3--N.

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