Lookup NU author(s): Dr Elisa Lopez-Capel,
Professor David Manning
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We used thermal analysis to compare the proportions of active and more stable components in soil organic matter (SOM) fractions and whole soil under contrasting agricultural land-uses. The fractions (free light, intra-aggregate, and organomineral fractions) were isolated using density fractionation. Exothermic weight loss between 300 and 350°C was attributed to a relatively labile portion comprising carboxyl and aliphatic C, and that between 400 and 450°C to the decomposition of material rich in aromatic components. Under arable cultivation, free light SOM showed much greater weight loss in the first exothermic range than intra-aggregate SOM. In soil receiving very small inputs of organic matter (a long-term bare fallow) the free light and intra-aggregate fractions displayed similar characteristics and resembled the intra-aggregate fraction from the arable soil. The difference between the free light and intra-aggregate fractions was also small for the grassland soil but the fractions resembled the free light fraction from the arable soil. Small total weight loss for whole soil and organomineral fractions demonstrated the value of physical fractionation techniques in establishing the effect of land-use on SOM with greater precision than is possible whole (unfractionated) soil.
Author(s): Lopez-Capel E, Sohi S, Gaunt J, Manning DAC
Publication type: Article
Publication status: Published
Journal: Soil Science Society of America Journal
Print publication date: 01/01/2005
ISSN (print): 0361-5995
ISSN (electronic): 1435-0661
Publisher: Soil Science Society of America