Staff Publications

Staff Publications

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    'Staff publications' is the digital repository of Wageningen University & Research

    'Staff publications' contains references to publications authored by Wageningen University staff from 1976 onward.

    Publications authored by the staff of the Research Institutes are available from 1995 onwards.

    Full text documents are added when available. The database is updated daily and currently holds about 240,000 items, of which 72,000 in open access.

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Record number 412731
Title Eliminating amino acid interference during spectrophotometric NH4+ analysis
Author(s) Ros, G.H.; Leeuwen, A.G. van; Temminghoff, E.J.M.
Source Soil Biology and Biochemistry 43 (2011)4. - ISSN 0038-0717 - p. 862 - 865.
Department(s) Chair Soil Chemistry and Chemical Soil Quality
Chemical Biological Soil Laboratory
Publication type Refereed Article in a scientific journal
Publication year 2011
Keyword(s) dissolved organic nitrogen - flow-injection system - soil extracts - ammonium determination - water - mineralization - berthelot - chemistry - samples - matter
Abstract Amino acids can interfere with NH4+ in spectrophotometric NH4+ determination hampering accurate quantification of the fate of NH4+ and dissolved organic N in soils. Serious interference has been reported for soils rich in organic matter, and for soils that have been fumigated, oven-dried or fertilized where between 5 and 60% of the NH4+ detected could be attributed to amino acid interference. We investigated whether a combination of gas diffusion and the classical Berthelot method can eliminate this interference, increasing the selectivity of the NH4+ analysis. We tested this approach using synthetic amino acid solutions and a large set of terrestrial samples (n = 353), including pore water samples, (fumigated or dried) soil extracts, and extracts of manures, composts and crop residues. The evaluated method produced accurate (recovery > 99.7%) and reproducible (standard error = 2.2%) NH4+ concentrations, eliminating any interference between amino acids and NH4+ (interference <0.3%). Interference from K2SO4 was also eliminated. The method is robust, broadly applicable and will improve our understanding of nitrogen cycling in various ecosystems, in particular those where high levels of amino acids occur. © 2011 Elsevier Ltd.
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