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denitrification and nitrate reduction (technical)

Mark Fisher wrote:

>> Just like oxygen respiration, denitrification and nitrate/nitrite respiration allows for the complete oxidation of an organic molecule to CO2 and H2O.<<
>> Whether or not ammonia or nitrogen gas is produced is dependent upon the kinds of bacteria present in the substrate, not the amount of carbon (or whether fertilizer is encased in clay). <<

Ahh, I think I misunderstood what was told to me. But you are saying
that neither reduction process will occur without the presence of the
organic (carbon based) molecule? Therefore encasing the fertilizer in
clay should delay denitrification until the nitrate diffuses out, right?

I think we will find the production of both ammonia and nitrogen gas
occurring for several months in substrates containing organic matter or
nitrate fertilizer. My limited experience suggests that the ammonia
production occurs mainly in the first month whereas nitrogen gas is
produced for several months. Does this make sense? 

You said the kinds of bacteria present determine which product is
released. What factors determine which bacterial colonies are favored?
Is it purely random?

Steve P.