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Effective retention of litter-derived dissolved organic carbon in organic layers

Müller, Matthias and Alewell, Christine and Hagedorn, Frank. (2009) Effective retention of litter-derived dissolved organic carbon in organic layers. Soil Biology and Biochemistry, 41 (6). pp. 1066-1074.

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Official URL: http://edoc.unibas.ch/dok/A5251142

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Abstract

This study aimed to gain insight into the generation and fate of dissolved organic carbon (DOC) in organic layers. In a Free Air CO2 Enrichment Experiment at the alpine treeline, we estimated the contribution of C-13-depleted recent plant C to DOC of mor-type organic layers. In an additional laboratory soil column study with 40 leaching cycles, we traced the fate of C-13-labelled litter-DOC (22 and 45 mg l(-1)) in intact Oa horizons at 2 and 15 degrees C. Results of the field study showed that DOC in the Oa horizon at 5 cm depth contained only 20 +/- 3% of less than six-year-old C, indicating minor contributions of throughfall, root exudates, and fresh litter to leached DOC. In the soil column experiment, there was a sustained DOC leaching from native soil organic matter. Less than 10% of totally added litter-DOC was leached despite a rapid breakthrough of a bromide tracer (50 +/- 7% within two days). Biodegradation contributed only partly to the DOC removal with 18-30% of added litter-DOC being mineralized in the Oa horizons at 2 and 15 degrees C, respectively. This was substantially less than the potential 70%-biodegradability of the litter-DOC itself, which indicates a stabilization of litter-DOC in the Oa horizon. In summary, our results give evidence on an apparent 'exchange' of DOC in thick organic layers with litter-DOC being retained and 'replaced' by 'older' DOC leached from the large pool of indigenous soil organic matter. (C) 2009 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Faculties and Departments:05 Faculty of Science > Departement Umweltwissenschaften > Umweltgeowissenschaften > Umweltgeowissenschaften (Alewell)
UniBasel Contributors:Müller, Matthias Heidulf and Alewell, Christine
Item Type:Article, refereed
Article Subtype:Research Article
Bibsysno:Link to catalogue
Publisher:Pergamon Press
ISSN:0038-0717
Note:Publication type according to Uni Basel Research Database: Journal article
Identification Number:
Last Modified:07 Feb 2017 16:11
Deposited On:22 Mar 2012 14:05

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