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Effect of air-drying pre-treatment on the characterization of forest soil carbon pools

Villada, A., Vanguelova, E. I., Verhoef, A. and Shaw, L. (2016) Effect of air-drying pre-treatment on the characterization of forest soil carbon pools. Geoderma, 265. pp. 53-61. ISSN 0016-7061

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1016/j.geoderma.2015.11.003

Abstract/Summary

Archived soils could represent a valuable resource for the spatio-temporal inventory of soil carbon stability. However, archived soils are usually air-dried before storage and the impact of a drying pretreatment on physically and chemically-defined C fractions has not yet been fully assessed. Through the comparison of field-moist and corresponding air-dried (at 25oC for 2 weeks) forest soil samples, we examined the effect of air-drying on: a) the quantity and the quality of cold- (CWEC) and hot-water (HWEC) extractable C and b) the concentration of C in physically isolated fractions (free- and intra-aggregate light and organo-mineral). Soil samples were collected from the organic (O) and mineral (A and B) horizons of three different forest soils from southeastern England: (i) Cambisol under Pine (Pinus nigra); (ii) Cambisol under Beech (Fagus sylvatica) and (iii) Gleysol under oak (Quercus robur). CWEC concentrations for dry samples were up to 2 times greater than for corresponding field moist samples and had significantly (p < 0.001) higher phenolic content. However, the effect of drying pretreatment on HWEC, its phenolic content was not significant (p > 0.05) for most samples. Dried soils had significantly (p < 0.001) higher concentrations of free light-C while having lower concentrations of intra-aggregate-C when compared to moist samples (p < 0.001). However, fine silt and clay fractions were not significantly affected by the drying pretreatment (p=0.789). Therefore, based on the results obtained from gleysol and cambisol forest soils studied here, C contents in hot-water extractions and fine particle size physical fractions (< 25µm) seem to be robust measurements for evaluating C fractions in dried stored forest soils. Further soil types should be tested to evaluate the wider generality of these findings.

Item Type:Article
Refereed:Yes
Divisions:Interdisciplinary centres and themes > Walker Institute
Faculty of Science > School of Archaeology, Geography and Environmental Science > Department of Geography and Environmental Science
Interdisciplinary centres and themes > Soil Research Centre
ID Code:46098
Publisher:Elsevier

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