delta-N15 as an integrator of the nitrogen cycle

David Robinson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

835 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Natural abundances of the rare stable isotope of nitrogen, N-15, are now being used widely in research on N cycling in organisms and ecosystems. N-15 natural abundances are used in fundamentally different ways from traditional N-15 tracers by integrating N cycle processes via hi isotope fractionations and the mixing of various N-containing pools. This approach of using N-15 natural abundances still requires certain technical and conceptual advances before it can be used routinely in ecological research. Here,the basis of the natural abundance N-15 approach and opportunities for applying It In ecology are reviewed, and recent progress towards overcoming some of the key technical problems and in revealing large-scale patterns in N cycle processes is discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)153-162
Number of pages9
JournalTrends in Ecology & Evolution
Volume16
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2001

Keywords

  • N-15 NATURAL-ABUNDANCE
  • STABLE ISOTOPES
  • PHYSIOLOGICAL ECOLOGY
  • FOOD-WEB
  • FOREST
  • NITRATE
  • PLANT
  • DENITRIFICATION
  • FRACTIONATION
  • SOILS

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