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Open AccessArticle

Carbon Isotope Measurements to Determine the Turnover of Soil Organic Matter Fractions in a Temperate Forest Soil

1
Geographical Institute, Research Centre for Astronomy and Earth Sciences, Budaörsi út 45, H-1112 Budapest, Hungary
2
Hertelendi Laboratory of Environmental Studies, Institute for Nuclear Research, Bem tér 18/c, H-4026 Debrecen, Hungary
3
Department of Meteorology, Eötvös Loránd University, Pázmány Péter sétány 1/A, H-1117 Budapest, Hungary
4
Institute of Geography and Geoinformatics, University of Miskolc, Building A4, Miskolc-Egyetemváros, H-3515 Miskolc, Hungary
5
Institute for Geological and Geochemical Research, Research Centre for Astronomy and Earth Sciences, Budaörsi út 45, H-1112 Budapest, Hungary
6
Department of Environmental and Landscape Geography, Eötvös Loránd University, Pázmány Péter sétány 1/C, H-1117 Budapest, Hungary
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Agronomy 2020, 10(12), 1944; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy10121944
Received: 21 November 2020 / Accepted: 8 December 2020 / Published: 10 December 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Soil Healthy in Agro-ecosystems)
Soil organic matter (SOM) is a combination of materials having different origin and with different stabilization and decomposition processes. To determine the different SOM pools and their turnover rates, a silt loam-textured Luvisol from West Hungary was taken from the 0–20 cm soil depth and incubated for 163 days. Maize residues were added to the soil in order to obtain natural 13C enrichment. Four different SOM fractions—particulate organic matter (POM), sand and stable aggregate (S + A), silt- plus clay-sized (s + c) and chemically resistant soil organic carbon (rSOC) fractions—were separated and analyzed using FT-IR, δ13C, and 14C measurements. The mean residence time (MRT) of the new C and the proportion of maize-derived C in the fractions were calculated. The POM fraction was found to be the most labile C pool, as shown by the easily decomposable chemical structures (e.g., aliphatic, O-alkyl, and polysaccharides), the highest proportion (11.7 ± 2.5%) of maize-derived C, and an MRT of 3.6 years. The results revealed that the most stable fraction was the rSOC fraction which had the smallest proportion of maize-derived C (0.18 ± 2.5%) and the highest MRT (250 years), while it was the only fraction with a negative value of Δ14C (−75.0 ± 2.4‰). Overall, the study confirmed the hypothesis that the SOM associated with finer-sized soil particles decomposes the least, highlighting the significance of the fractionation process for more accurate determination of the decomposition processes of SOM pools. View Full-Text
Keywords: carbon stabilization; 13C labeling; fractionation; FT-IR spectroscopy; radiocarbon carbon stabilization; 13C labeling; fractionation; FT-IR spectroscopy; radiocarbon
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    Doi: 10.5281/zenodo.4283019
    Link: https://zenodo.org/record/4283019
    Description: Figure S1: The FT-IR spectra of the native samples. POM = particulate organic matter fraction; S+A = sand plus stable aggregate fraction; s+c = silt plus clay fraction; rSOC = chemically resistant organic carbon fraction. Figure S2: The FT-IR spectra of the control samples. POM = particulate organic matter fraction; S+A = sand plus stable aggregate fraction; s+c = silt plus clay fraction; rSOC = chemically resistant organic carbon fraction. Figure S3: The FT-IR spectra of the amended samples. POM = particulate organic matter fraction; S+A = sand plus stable aggregate fraction; s+c = silt plus clay fraction; rSOC = chemically resistant organic carbon fraction
MDPI and ACS Style

Zacháry, D.; Filep, T.; Jakab, G.; Molnár, M.; Kertész, T.; Király, C.; Hegyi, I.; Gáspár, L.; Szalai, Z. Carbon Isotope Measurements to Determine the Turnover of Soil Organic Matter Fractions in a Temperate Forest Soil. Agronomy 2020, 10, 1944. https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy10121944

AMA Style

Zacháry D, Filep T, Jakab G, Molnár M, Kertész T, Király C, Hegyi I, Gáspár L, Szalai Z. Carbon Isotope Measurements to Determine the Turnover of Soil Organic Matter Fractions in a Temperate Forest Soil. Agronomy. 2020; 10(12):1944. https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy10121944

Chicago/Turabian Style

Zacháry, Dóra; Filep, Tibor; Jakab, Gergely; Molnár, Mihály; Kertész, Titanilla; Király, Csilla; Hegyi, István; Gáspár, Lilla; Szalai, Zoltán. 2020. "Carbon Isotope Measurements to Determine the Turnover of Soil Organic Matter Fractions in a Temperate Forest Soil" Agronomy 10, no. 12: 1944. https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy10121944

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