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Potential ammonia emissions from penguin guano, ornithogenic soils and seal colony soils in coastal Antarctica: effects of freezing-thawing cycles and selected environmental variables

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  08 October 2010

Renbin Zhu
Affiliation:
Institute of Polar Environment, University of Science and Technology of China, Hefei City, Anhui Province 230026, PR China
Jianjun Sun
Affiliation:
Institute of Polar Environment, University of Science and Technology of China, Hefei City, Anhui Province 230026, PR China
Yashu Liu
Affiliation:
Institute of Polar Environment, University of Science and Technology of China, Hefei City, Anhui Province 230026, PR China
Zhijun Gong
Affiliation:
Institute of Polar Environment, University of Science and Technology of China, Hefei City, Anhui Province 230026, PR China
Liguang Sun
Affiliation:
Institute of Polar Environment, University of Science and Technology of China, Hefei City, Anhui Province 230026, PR China
Corresponding
E-mail address:

Abstract

Very little attention has been paid to quantifying ammonia (NH3) emissions from Antarctic marine animal excreta. In this paper, penguin guano and ornithogenic soils from four penguin colonies and seal colony soils were collected in coastal Antarctica, and laboratory experiments were conducted to investigate potential NH3 emissions and effects of environmental factors on NH3 fluxes. Ammonia fluxes were extremely low from the frozen samples. Significantly enhanced NH3 emissions were observed following thawing. The mean fluxes were 7.66 ± 4.33 mg NH3 kg-1 h-1 from emperor penguin guano, 1.31 ± 0.64 mg NH3 kg-1 h-1 from Adélie penguin guano and 0.33 ± 0.39 mg NH3 kg-1 h-1 from seal colony soils during the thawing period. Ammonia emissions from penguin guano were higher than those from ornithogenic soils during freezing-thawing cycles (FTCs). The temperature, pH, total nitrogen (TN) and drying-wetting conversion had an important effect on NH3 fluxes. For the first time, we provide a quantitative relationship between NH3 flux and temperature, TN and pH. Our results show that marine animal excreta and ornithogenic soils are significant NH3 emission sources. In coastal Antarctica, FTC-induced NH3 emissions might account for a large proportion of annual flux from marine animal colonies due to high freezing-thawing frequency.

Type
Biological Sciences
Copyright
Copyright © Antarctic Science Ltd 2011

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Potential ammonia emissions from penguin guano, ornithogenic soils and seal colony soils in coastal Antarctica: effects of freezing-thawing cycles and selected environmental variables
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