Ecological Response of Atmospheric Nitrogen Deposition on Reconstructed Soils in the Athabasca Oil Sands Region

  • Author / Creator
    Hemsley, Tyrel, Lee
  • Oil and gas extraction in the Athabasca oil sands region has increased anthropogenic nitrogen (N) emissions over the past two decades. This study quantified atmospheric N deposition and assessed the potential implications of increased N deposition in aspen (Populus tremuloides Michx.) and jack pine (Pinus banksiana Lamb.) stands located on reclaimed sites. Nitrogen deposition was significant on these sites, and in all cases was dominated by ammonium. Bulk precipitation was significantly greater than throughfall, which indicates canopy uptake of N in both stand types. In aspen stands, positive relationships were found between ammonium deposition, and N isotope signature in forest floor, foliage, and roots, suggesting that biocycling of N was taking place between soil and plants. However, in pine, the lack of similar relations together with high soil nitrate concentrations indicated that the N cycle was more open, potentially leading to leaching losses.

  • Subjects / Keywords
  • Graduation date
    Spring 2012
  • Type of Item
  • Degree
    Master of Science
  • DOI
  • License
    This thesis is made available by the University of Alberta Libraries with permission of the copyright owner solely for non-commercial purposes. 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.