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    Soluble organic nitrogen (SON) and inorganic N are two crucial nitrogen (N) forms in the cycling of N within terrestrial ecosystems, acting as either a "source" or a "sink" to the environmental N release. The mineralization, retention, leaching, and plant absorption of N in terrestrial ecosystems are closely related to SON. As a result, the role of SON in soil material circulation and nutrient flow has attracted much attention and has become one of the hotspots in various research fields, such as ecology, environmental science, soil science, and hydrology. We reviewed the research progress on soil SON, including the definition and quantification, the size and composition, the absorption and utilization by plants and microorganisms, the sources and influencing factors, and the transformation, migration, and leaching loss of SON. SON is a complex collection of multi-component soluble organic matter, mainly as recalcitrant components (difficult to degrade), with relatively low proportion as labile components (easily degradable). Due to the difference in the turnover time among recalcitrant and labile components, the roles of SON in N cycling and turnover cannot be fully represented by the SON quantity. Therefore, to accurately reflect the role of SON in N turnover, N uptake, and N leaching, it is necessary to establish new methods and distinguish between recalcitrant and labile SON components in future studies. When studying the role of SON in N conversion and N absorption, it is essential to focus on its labile components. When studying the contribution of soil SON to N leaching or runoff loss, it is necessary to focus on the recalcitrant components.


    Zhi Quan, Xuan-Ang Liu, Dong Liu. Research progress on soil soluble organic nitrogen]. Ying yong sheng tai xue bao = The journal of applied ecology. 2022 Jan;33(1):277-288

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    PMID: 35224951

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