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Soil N2O and NO emissions from an arid, urban ecosystem in central Arizona-Phoenix


  • Nancy Grimm, School of Life Sciences, Arizona State University
  • Sharon Hall, School of Life Sciences, Arizona State University


Soil nitrogen (N) cycling and fluxes of N2O and NO in three land-use types across the metropolitan area of Phoenix, Arizona has been measured.Urbanization increased N2O emissions compared to native landscapes, primarily due to the expansion of fertilized and irrigated lawns. Fluxes of N2O from lawns ranged from 18 to 80 mg N m^(-2) h^(-1) and were significantly larger than managed xeric landscapes (2.5-22 mg N m^(-2) h^(-1)) and remnant desert sites within the urban core (3.7-14 mg N m^(-2) h^(-1)). In contrast, average NO fluxes from lawns were not significantly different from native desert when dry (6-80 mg N m^(-2) h^(-1); 5-16 mg N m^(-2) h^(-1) desert) and were lower than fluxes from deserts after wetting events. Furthermore, urbanization has significantly altered the temporal dynamics of NO emissions by replacing pulse-driven desert ecosystems with year-round irrigated, managed lawns. Short-term, pulse-driven emissions of NO from wetting of dry desert soils may reach 35% of anthropogenic emissions within a day after summer monsoon storms. If regional O3 production is NOx-limited during the monsoon season, fluxes from warm, recently wet arid soils may contribute to summer O3 episodes. .


Temporal Coverage:

2003-03-16 to 2006-06-23

Geographic Coverage:

Geographic Description: Phoenix metropolitan area in Arizona, USA
Bounding Coordinates:
Longitude:-111.946295 to -111.898528
Latitude:33.465402 to 33.399775


Information Manager, 
Global Institute of Sustainability,Arizona State University,POB 875402,Tempe

Methods used in producing this dataset: Show

Data Files (3) :

Tabular: 73_sites_1.csv

Description: site descriptions

Column Description Type Units
SiteID A unique Id assigned to each site
SiteCode A abbreviation for the name of the site
SiteName Name of the site

Tabular: 73_urbannoxidesvalues_1.csv

Description: N oxide measurement values

Column Description Type Units
LandUsageTypeID A unique number assigned to each land use type
  • 1: lawn
  • 2: xeriscape
  • 3: desert remnant
Water Indicates whether data is recorded before watering or after watering
  • Before watering: before irrigating the area
  • After watering: after irrigating the area
VariableID A unique id assigned to each variable
Value The data value recorded
float dimensionless
SiteID A unique id assigned to each site as used in the Site table
Date Actual date when the data is recorded
datetime Format: YYYY-MM-DD
ValuesID A unique id assigned to each row

Tabular: 73_variables_1.csv

Description: measured variables description and units

Column Description Type Units
VariableID A unique id assigned to each variable
VariableCode A abbreviation for the variable name
VariableName Name of the variable
MeasurementUnit Units of measurement used to measure the variable

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