Using the buried-bag procedure, we quantified nitrogen mineralization rates in the xeric, acidic Lakehurst, and Atsion sands of the New Jersey Pine Barrens. Average annual nitrogen yields in the upper 15 cm for the Lakehurst and the Atsion sands were 38.4 and 53.0 kg N/ha, corresponding to 4.5 and 2.5% of the total nitrogen, respectively. Net nitrogen mineralization in both soils exhibited distinct seasonal patterns with maxima in summer and minimum rates in the winter. Nitrification accounted for only 5% of the total N mineralized in both soils. This is consistent with the finding of low populations of autotrophic nitrifiera in these soils.
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