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A positive relationship between the abundance of ammonia oxidizing archaea and natural abundance δ 15 N of ecosystems

A positive relationship between the abundance of ammonia oxidizing archaea and natural abundance δ 15 N of ecosystems

We present a significant relationship between the natural abundance isotopic composition of ecosystem pools and the abundance of a microbial gene. Natural abundance 15N of soils and soil DNA were analysed and compared with archaeal ammonia oxidizer abundance along an elevation gradient in northern Arizona and along a substrate age gradient in Hawai'i. There was a significant positive correlation between the abundance of archaeal amoA genes and natural abundance δ15N of total soil or DNA suggesting that ammonia oxidizing archaea play an important role in ecosystem N release.

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