HYDROLOGIC CONTROLS ON NITROGEN CYCLING AND NITRATE TRANSPORT THROUGH THE VADOSE ZONE OF A SUBSURFACE ARTIFICIALLY-DRAINED DRYLAND AGROECOSYSTEM IN THE PALOUSE BASIN OF EASTERN WASHINGTON
Kelley, Christopher Joshua
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Advances in the application of stable isotopes to address environmental issues have led to new understandings of biogeochemical cycles for both natural and agricultural systems. Of particular concern, is understanding nitrogen cycling in agricultural systems due to potential losses of reactive nitrogen to aquatic and atmospheric domains. Research in this area is timely because of growing concern about climate change and coastal eutrophication. The overarching concept for this research is that nitrogen cycling and pathways for nitrogen losses are substantially regulated by soil hydrologic conditions, with the premise that water availability and residence time in the soil are the key factors controlling nitrogen cycling in agricultural systems. The focus is on an artificially-drained dryland agricultural system, but the links between soil hydrology and nitrogen cycling developed here will be similar to irrigated and non-artificially drained agricultural systems.