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Permanent link (DOI): https://doi.org/10.7939/R3F47H042

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Effects of long-term nitrogen and sulfur deposition on soil microbial communities and soil properties in the Athabasca oil sands region in northern Alberta, Canada Open Access

Descriptions

Other title
Subject/Keyword
deposition
Athabasca oil sands region
co-occurrence network
soil bacteria
Nitrogen saturation
soil acidification
DNA sequencing
soil
bacterial resistance
soil chemical properties
Type of item
Thesis
Degree grantor
University of Alberta
Author or creator
Ibsen, Stephanie MC
Supervisor and department
Chang, Scott (Renewable Resources)
Examining committee member and department
Ramirez, Guillermo Hernandez (Renewable Resources)
Siddique, Tariq (Renewable Resources)
Department
Department of Renewable Resources
Specialization
Land Reclamation and Remediation
Date accepted
2016-05-30T13:59:57Z
Graduation date
2016-06
Degree
Master of Science
Degree level
Master's
Abstract
Intensified oil sands activities have resulted in elevated levels of nitrogen (N) and sulfur (S) deposition in the mixedwood boreal forest in the Athabasca oil sands region (AOSR) of northern Alberta, Canada. The deposition of N and S can affect the surrounding ecosystem and it is important to monitor possible effects. To improve the understanding of the response of boreal forest ecosystems to increased N and S deposition in the AOSR, an experiment was established in 2006 with the following treatments: control, +N addition (30 kg N ha-1 yr-1 as NH4NO3), +S addition (30 kg S ha-1 yr-1 as Na2SO4), and +NS addition (30 kg N plus 30 kg S ha-1 yr-1). Nine years of simulated N and S deposition did not affect soil bacterial diversity, community composition, abundance, functional profiles, and co-occurrence patterns, suggesting that soil bacteria were resistant or resilient to increases in N and S addition in the studied boreal forest. In contrast, increased N and S addition increased the abundance of soil fungal communities, suggesting fungi were more sensitive than soil bacteria. Additionally, ten years of simulated N and S deposition did not change soil chemical properties including soil pH, cation and N concentrations and leaching of N below the main rooting zone. Therefore, there was no evidence of N saturation or soil acidification in the experimental forest ecosystem in the AOSR after ten years of N and S addition. Continued long term research of N and S deposition in the AOSR is needed to enhance the current level of understanding and to quantify the collective ecosystem impacts.
Language
English
DOI
doi:10.7939/R3F47H042
Rights
This thesis is made available by the University of Alberta Libraries with permission of the copyright owner solely for the purpose of private, scholarly or scientific research. This thesis, or any portion thereof, may not otherwise be copied or reproduced without the written consent of the copyright owner, except to the extent permitted by Canadian copyright law.
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