Short-term effect of exogenous nitrogen on N2O fluxes from native and invaded tidal marshes in the Min River estuary, China.
Tidal marshes play an important functional role in removing nitrogen (N) pollution before delivery to coastal and ocean systems; however, little is known about their removal capacity as N2O gas emissions from different plant species. To evaluate the effects of N inputs on N2O emissions from tidal marshes, we measured N2O fluxes from native (Cyperus malaccensis) and invaded (Spartina alterniflora) tidal marshes in the Min River estuary, and fertilized with exogenous N at the rates of 0, 21 and 42 g N m-2 yr.-1, respectively. S. alterniflora invasion did not significantly influence N2O emissions from the C. malaccensis marsh under natural conditions, but under N addition conditions, the invasion of S. alterniflora decreased N2O emissions, primarily owing to its stronger N uptake capacity. Exogenous N had significant positive effects on N2O fluxes in both native and invaded tidal marshes. Moreover, significant temporal variability of N2O fluxes was observed after N was gradually added to the native and invaded marshes. Within 3 h of N addition, N2O fluxes were significantly higher in plots receiving N additions relative to controls. After 8 days, few significant differences were found between treatments. Moreover, electrical conductivity, pH and oxidation-reduction potential at different soil depths were not significantly affected by N addition. Considering N addition showed extremely high positive effects on N2O fluxes at the hours scale, the overall increase of N2O emissions from wetlands in response to N addition may be significantly underestimated. To better assess the global climatic role of salt marshes that have been affected by N addition, the short-term temporal variability of N2O emissions should receive greater attention.