Tracing the source and fate of dissolved organic matter in soil after incorporation of a C-13 labelled residue: A batch incubation study

I. De Troyer, Fien Amery, C. Van Moorleghem, E. Smolders, R. Merckx

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    While dissolved organic matter (DOM) in soil solution is a small but reactive fraction of soil organic matter, its source and dynamics are unclear. A laboratory incubation experiment was set up with an agricultural topsoil amended with C-13 labelled maize straw. The dissolved organic carbon (DOC) concentration in soil solution increased sharply from 25 to 186 mg C L-1 4 h after maize amendment, but rapidly decreased to 42 mg C L-1 and reached control values at and beyond 2 months. About 65% of DOM was straw derived after 4 h, decreasing to 29% after one day and only 1.3% after 240 days. A significant priming effect of the straw on the release of autochthonous DOM was found. The DOM fractionation with DAX-8 resin revealed that 98% of the straw derived DOM was hydrophilic in the initial pulse while this hydrophilic fraction was 20-30% in control samples. This was in line with the specific UV absorbance of the DOM which was significantly lower in the samples amended with maize residues than in the control samples. The delta C-13 of the respired CO2 matched that of DOC in the first day after amendment but exceeded it in following days. The straw derived C fractions in respired CO2 and in microbial biomass were similar between 57 and 240 days after amendment but were 3-10 fold above those in the DOM. This suggests that the solubilisation of C from the straw is in steady state with the DOM degradation or that part of the straw is directly mineralised without going into solution. This study shows that residue application releases a pulse of hydrophilic DOM that temporarily (
    TaalEngels
    TijdschriftSoil Biology & Biochemistry
    Volume43
    Exemplaarnummer3
    Pagina's (van-tot)513-519
    Aantal pagina's7
    ISSN0038-0717
    DOI's
    StatusGepubliceerd - 1-mrt-2011

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