Document Type

Thesis - Open Access

Award Date


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Department / School

Biology and Microbiology

First Advisor

Robert L. Todd


Modern agriculture with its fertilizers, pesticides, and mechanized irrigation has not risen above the constraints imposed by the natural nutrient cycles which determine availability of food on this planet. Research is needed to ensure these biogeochemical cycles can maintain a long-term balance with man's needed production. Microorganisms play major roles in biogeochemical transformations and cycling of elements through various environment. These microbial actions are essential to the survival of plants and animals in a particular habitat and will determine the potential productivity of an ecosystem. Those elements most intensely cycled include carbon, hydrogen, oxygen, nitrogen, phosphorus, and sulfur, all of which are major components of living organisms. complete separation of each cycle from one another or from the importance of the microbial community cannot be achieved due to their intetrelatedness. The one cycle that appears to be closely maintained by microbial activities is the nitrogen cycle. Denitrification is the least understood component of this cycle. Only recently has the importance of this process become apparent in biogeochemical cycles. Since accurate field measurements for denitrification are not developed, the subject of this thesis is the development of an intact soil core technique.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Soils -- Nitrogen content -- Measurement
Nitrification -- Measurement



Number of Pages



South Dakota State University


No Copyright - United State