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Aquatic Microbial Ecology

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AME - Vol. 69 No. 1 - Feature article
Removal of nitrate and total N load by denitrification was less efficient in boreal than in temperate lakes.Photos: Ilpo Hakala (boreal) and Thyes (temperate)

Rissanen AJ, Tiirola M, Hietanen S, Ojala A


Interlake variation and environmental controls of denitrification across different geographical scales


Nitrogen gas production by denitrification in lake sediments significantly reduces the transport of nitrogen from land to vulnerable coastal ecosystems. However, factors controlling the process are poorly understood. Rissanen and co-workers studied inter-lake variation in denitrification across different geographical scales by their own analyses (local scale) and by meta-analysis of previously published data (regional and continental scale). They showed that denitrification varies considerably between lakes at all spatial scales and is mainly controlled by nitrate availability. They also demonstrated that nitrogen removal by denitrification is less efficient in boreal than in temperate lakes. Future studies should focus on the factors underlying the geographical differences in denitrification.


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