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Faculty for Biology, Chemistry and Earth Sciences

Department Soil Ecology - Prof. Dr. Eva Lehndorff

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Alewell, C; Novák, M: Spotting zones of dissimilatory sulfate reduction in a forested catchment; The 34S - 35S approach, Environmental Pollution, 112, 369-377 (2001)
Abstract:
The localization of sulfate reducing sites in forested catchments is of major importance, because dissimilatory sulfate reduction can be a considerable sink for deposited sulfate. To localize dissimilatory sulfate reduction sites in a forested catchment (northeastern Bavaria, Germany), three sites within the catchment (upland site, intermittent seep, fen) were investigated for delta S-34 depth profiles of soil sulfur and potential sulfate reduction rates were measured with S-35 radiolabeling. Stable sulfur isotopes indicate that aerobic metabolism is the dominant process on the upland site and the intermittent seep (delta S-34 Of soil sulfur between + 1.6 and + 9.0 parts per thousand) and dissimilatory reduction is not a significant sink for sulfate. However, results of the S-35 radiolabeling indicated for the upland site that the soil has potentially high sulfate reduction rates under laboratory conditions. Soil sulfur of the fen was markedly depleted in S-34 (delta S-34 between -6 and +2.6 parts per thousand). Both, S-34 and S-35 data indicated that dissimilatory sulfate reduction is an ongoing process on this site. The S-34 and S-35 approaches are complementary. While measurements using S-35 can show momentary potential for dissimilatory bacterial sulfate reduction, delta S-34 data reflect long-term predominance of either assimilatory or dissimilatory S metabolism at a particular site.
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