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Sci Total Environ. 2014 Aug 1;488-489:268-74. doi: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2014.04.071. Epub 2014 May 14.

Fate of 14C-labeled dissolved organic matter in paddy and upland soils in responding to moisture.

Author information

1
Key Laboratory of Agro-ecological Processes in Subtropical Region, Institute of Subtropical Agriculture, The Chinese Academy of Sciences, Changsha 410125, China; Huanjiang Observation and Research Station for Karst Ecosystems, Huanjiang 547100, China.
2
Key Laboratory of Agro-ecological Processes in Subtropical Region, Institute of Subtropical Agriculture, The Chinese Academy of Sciences, Changsha 410125, China.
3
Department of Soil Science of Temperate Ecosystems, Department of Agricultural Soil Science, University of Göttingen, 37077 Göttingen, Germany.
4
Key Laboratory of Agro-ecological Processes in Subtropical Region, Institute of Subtropical Agriculture, The Chinese Academy of Sciences, Changsha 410125, China; Huanjiang Observation and Research Station for Karst Ecosystems, Huanjiang 547100, China. Electronic address: yrsu@isa.ac.cn.

Abstract

Soil organic matter (SOM) content in paddy soils is higher than that in upland soils in tropical and subtropical China. The dissolved organic matter (DOM) concentration, however, is lower in paddy soils. We hypothesize that soil moisture strongly controls the fate of DOM, and thereby leads to differences between the two agricultural soils under contrasting management regimens. A 100-day incubation experiment was conducted to trace the fate and biodegradability of DOM in paddy and upland soils under three moisture levels: 45%, 75%, and 105% of the water holding capacity (WHC). (14)C labeled DOM, extracted from the (14)C labeled rice plant material, was incubated in paddy and upland soils, and the mineralization to (14)CO2 and incorporation into microbial biomass were analyzed. Labile and refractory components of the initial (14)C labeled DOM and their respective half-lives were calculated by a double exponential model. During incubation, the mineralization of the initial (14)C labeled DOM in the paddy soils was more affected by moisture than in the upland soils. The amount of (14)C incorporated into the microbial biomass (2.4-11.0% of the initial DOM-(14)C activity) was less affected by moisture in the paddy soils than in the upland soils. At any of the moisture levels, 1) the mineralization of DOM to (14)CO2 within 100 days was 1.2-2.1-fold higher in the paddy soils (41.9-60.0% of the initial DOM-(14)C activity) than in the upland soils (28.7-35.7%), 2) (14)C activity remaining in solution was significantly lower in the paddy soils than in the upland soils, and 3) (14)C activity remaining in the same agricultural soil solution was not significantly different among the three moisture levels after 20 days. Therefore, moisture strongly controls DOM fate, but moisture was not the key factor in determining the lower DOM in the paddy soils than in the upland soils. The UV absorbance of DOM at 280 nm indicates less aromaticity of DOM from the paddy soils than from the upland soils. At any of the moisture levels, much more labile DOM was found in paddy soils (34.3-49.2% of the initial (14)C labeled DOM) compared with that in upland soils (19.4-23.9%). This demonstrates that the lower DOM content in the paddy soil compared with that in the upland soil is probably determined by the less complex components and structure of the DOM.

KEYWORDS:

(14)C labeling approach; Biodegradability; Dissolved organic matter; Microbial uptake; Paddy and upland soils; Soil moisture

PMID:
24836136
DOI:
10.1016/j.scitotenv.2014.04.071
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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