Carbon fractions associated with silt-size particles in surface and subsurface soil horizons
Adisa, S. J. and Nortcliff, S. (2011) Carbon fractions associated with silt-size particles in surface and subsurface soil horizons. Soil Science Society of America Journal, 75 (1). pp. 79-91. ISSN 0361-5995
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To link to this article DOI: 10.2136/sssaj2009.0081
Information on the distribution and behavior of C fractions in soil particle sizes is crucial for understanding C dynamics in soil. At present little is known about the behavior of the C associated with silt-size particles. We quantified the concentrations, distribution, and enrichment of total C (TC), readily oxidizable C (ROC), hotwater- extractable C (HWC), and cold-water-extractable C (CWC) fractions in coarse (63–20-mm), medium (20–6.3-mm), and fine (6.3–2-mm) silt-size subfractions and in coarse (2000–250 mm) and fine (250–63 mm) sand and clay (<2-mm) soil fractions isolated from bulk soil (<2 mm), and 2- to 4-mm aggregate-size fraction of surface (0–25 cm) and subsurface (25–55 cm) soils under different land uses. All measured C fractions varied significantly across all soil particle-size fractions. The highest C concentrations were associated with the <20-mm soil fractions and peaked in the medium (20–6.3-mm) and fine (6.3–2-mm) silt subfractions in most treatments. Carbon enrichment ratios (ERC) revealed the dual behavior of the C fractions associated with the medium silt-size fraction, demonstrating the simultaneous enrichment of TC and ROC, and the depletion of HWC and CWC fractions. The medium silt (20–6.3-mm) subfraction was identified in this study as a zone where the associated C fractions exhibit transitory qualities. Our results show that investigating subfractions within the silt-size particle fraction provides better understanding of the behavior of C fractions in this soil fraction.