Ammonia volatilization was measured at three sites in the Chihuahuan Desert of southern New Mexico, U.S.A. In dry soils, ammonia volatilization ranged from 9 to 11 micrograms of nitrogen per square meter per day, but rates increased to 95 micrograms of nitrogen per square meter per day in a shrubland site after an experimental addition of water.
Ammonia volatilization also increased with experimental additions of NH4Cl and decreased with additions of sucrose. Competition by nitrifiers for available NH4+ had little effect on NH3 volatilization: N-Serve, added to inhibit nitrification, decreased NH3 volatilization in a grassland site and had little effect at other sites. We suggest that NH3 volatilization is controlled by the rate of mineralization of NH4+ from soil organic matter, and mineralization is stimulated by rainfall. Overall rates of NH3 volatilization from undisturbed desert ecosystems appear to be much lower than those reported for rangeland and agricultural soils.
The data set shows ammonia volatilization from grassland, cresotebush, and playa habitats in response to a variety of experimental treatments chosen to elucidate the processes controlling the volatilization under dry and post-rainfall conditions. Ammonia is collected in weak acid in scintillation vials placed inside PVC chambers in the field. The rate of ammonia volatilized per unit area ugN/m2/day) is found by mulitplying the concentration in the acid by 1250 to account for volume and area corrections.
Data for rabbits, birds, and lizards recorded from the LTER II animal transects. Data consists of species names, numbers of individuals, and distances observed from transects. Data is collected from each transect once every two weeks. See history file for exceptions.