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Inputs of Nitrogen to Boreal Bogs of Northern Alberta, Canada The Importance of Biological N2 Fixation

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Description: My research focused on the inputs of nitrogen (N) to ombrotrophic bogs in Alberta, Canada and impacts of oil sand mining industry on N inputs. More specifically, I measured atmospheric total inorganic (TIN) deposition in forms of NO 3 - -N and NH 4 + -N and biological dinitrogen (N 2 ) fixation, and compared bogs located within close proximity (<50 km) of the Athabasca Oil Sand Region (AOSR) with a pristine bog located ∼ 300 km away from the AOSR. I quantified TIN and found that despite their proximity to the AOSR, none of the bogs received more than 5 kg ha -1 yr -1 , which is still considered a low rate of N. I found that four dominant Sphagnum moss species in bogs exhibit high acetylene reduction rates and, when converted to N 2 -fixation rates, they account for up to 62% of total N inputs. N 2 fixation is thus an important source of N for western Canadian bogs.
Language: English
Format: Degree Work