Modeling nitrous oxide production and reduction in soil through explicit representation of denitrification enzyme kinetics

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© 2015 American Chemical Society. An enzyme-explicit denitrification model with representations for pre- and de novo synthesized enzymes was developed to improve predictions of nitrous oxide (N < inf> 2 O) accumulations in soil and emissions from the surface. The metabolic model of denitrification is based on dual-substrate utilization and Monod growth kinetics. Enzyme synthesis/activation was incorporated into each sequential reduction step of denitrification to regulate dynamics of the denitrifier population and the active enzyme pool, which controlled the rate function. Parameterizations were developed from observations of the dynamics of N < inf> 2 O production and reduction in soil incubation experiments. The model successfully reproduced the dynamics of N < inf> 2 O and N < inf> 2 accumulation in the incubations and revealed an important regulatory effect of denitrification enzyme kinetics on the accumulation of denitrification products. Pre-synthesized denitrification enzymes contributed 20, 13, 43, and 62% of N < inf> 2 O that accumulated in 48 h incubations of soil collected from depths of 0-5, 5-10, 10-15, and 15-25 cm, respectively. An enzyme activity function (E) was defined to estimate the relative concentration of active enzymes and variation in response to environmental conditions. The value of E allows for activities of pre-synthesized denitrification enzymes to be differentiated from de novo synthesized enzymes. Incorporating explicit representations of denitrification enzyme kinetics into biogeochemical models is a promising approach for accurately simulating dynamics of the production and reduction of N < inf> 2 O in soils.

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Environmental Science and Technology