Michel, K; Matzner, E; Dignac, MF; Kögel-Knabner, I: Properties of dissolved organic matter related to soil organic matter quality and nitrogen additions in Norway spruce forest floors, Geoderma, 130, 250-264 (2006)
The quality of dissolved organic matter (DOM) is highly variable and little information is available on the relation of DOM quality to the structure and composition of its parent soil organic matter (SOM). The effect of increasing N inputs to forest soils on the structure and composition of both SOM and DOM also remains largely unclear. Here we studied the release of DOM, its specific UV absorption and two humification indices (HIX) derived from fluorescence spectra from Oa material of 15 North- and Central-European Norway spruce (Picea abies (L.) Karst.) stands. The Oa material was incubated aerobically at 15 °C and water holding capacity over a period of 10 months and extracted monthly with an artificial throughfall solution. Soil respiration was determined weekly. The influence of mineral N inputs on composition of DOM and on respiration rates was investigated on periodically NH4NO3-treated Oa samples of eight selected sites. Release of dissolved organic carbon (DOC) from untreated Oa material samples ranged from 0.0 to 58.6 μg C day−1 g C−1 and increased with increasing C-to-N ratio. One HIX and UV absorption of DOM were negatively correlated to the degree of oxidation of lignin-derived compounds and positively to the C-to-N ratio and – HIX only – to the aromatic C content of SOM. Mineral N addition had no distinct effect on respiration rates. In six of eight samples the N-treatment caused an increase in specific UV absorption or one HIX of DOM. However, these effects were not statistically significant. Addition of mineral N did not affect the rates of DOM release. Our results show that properties of SOM largely determine the amount and quality of DOM in forest floors. Changes of DOM quality due to mineral N additions are likely, but we cannot confirm significant changes of DOM release. Keywords: Dissolved organic matter; Fluorescence spectroscopy; Forest floor; Mineral nitrogen; Nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy; Soil organic matter; UV/VIS spectroscopy
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