Nitric oxide (NO) is a reactive gas that plays an important role in atmospheric chemistry by influencing the production and destruction of ozone and thereby the oxidizing capacity of the atmosphere. NO also contributes by its oxidation products to the formation of acid rain. The major sources of NO in the atmosphere are anthropogenic emissions (from combustion of fossil fuels) and biogenic emission from soils. NO is both produced and consumed in soils as a result of biotic and abiotic processes. The main processes involved are microbial nitrification and denitrification, and chemodenitrification. Thus, the net result is complex and dependent on several factors such as nitrogen availability, organic matter content, oxygen status, soil moisture, pH and temperature. This paper reviews recent knowledge on processes forming NO in soils and the factors controlling its emission to the atmosphere. Schemes for simulating these processes are described, and the results are discussed with the purpose of scaling up to global emission.
Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 2013, Vol 368, Issue 1621