University of Oulu

Bhattarai, H., Liimatainen, M., Nykänen, H., Kivimäenpää, M., Martikainen, P., Maljanen, M. (2019) Germinating wheat promotes the emission of atmospherically significant nitrous acid (HONO) gas from soils. Soil biology and biochemistry, 136 (), 107518. doi:10.1016/j.soilbio.2019.06.014

Germinating wheat promotes the emission of atmospherically significant nitrous acid (HONO) gas from soils

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Author: Bhattarai, Hem Raj1; Liimatainen, Maarit1,2; Nykänen, Hannu1;
Organizations: 1Department of Environmental and Biological Sciences, University of Eastern Finland, P.O. Box 1627, FI-70211, Kuopio, Finland
2Water, Energy and Environmental Engineering Research Unit, University of Oulu, P.O.Box 8000, FI-90014, Oulun, Yliopisto, Finland
Format: article
Version: published version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 1.8 MB)
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Language: English
Published: Elsevier, 2019
Publish Date: 2019-10-28


Tropospheric removal of pollutants initiated by the hydroxyl radical (OH) is a key process in atmospheric chemistry. In the lower atmosphere, OH production is linked to photolysis of nitrous acid (HONO), and it has been suggested that soil contributes strongly to the production of atmospheric HONO. However, factors controlling HONO production in soils are poorly known. We report here for the first time that HONO production in agricultural soil is potentially related to the germination and early development stages of wheat. Nitrite (NO₂⁻) released from the germinating seeds increased the HONO production. Given the significant area of agricultural lands globally, the emission of HONO from initial growth phase of wheat must be considered as a mechanism contributing to the OH production in the atmosphere.

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Series: Soil biology & biochemistry
ISSN: 0038-0717
ISSN-E: 1879-3428
ISSN-L: 0038-0717
Volume: 136
Article number: 107518
DOI: 10.1016/j.soilbio.2019.06.014
Type of Publication: A1 Journal article – refereed
Field of Science: 218 Environmental engineering
Funding: This research was funded by Academy of Finland under the project “The origin of nitrous acid (HONO) emissions from northern soils and linkages to nitrogen cycle processes” (grant no. 297735) and the doctoral program of the University of Eastern Finland (grant to H. R Bhattarai). We also acknowledge the Academy of Finland Center of Excellence program (project no. 307331) for supporting this study.
Copyright information: © 2019 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd. This is an open access article under the CC BY-NC-ND license (