Composition of organic solutes and respiration in soils derived from alkaline and non-alkaline parent materials

K. Nambu, P. A.W. van Hees, D. L. Jones, S. Vinogradoff, U. S. Lundström

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21 Citations (Scopus)


Parent material greatly influences pedogenesis and soil nutrient availability and consequently we hypothesized that it would significantly affect the amount of organic solutes in soil, many of which have been implicated in rhizosphere processes linked to plant nutrient uptake. Consequently, we investigated the influence of two contrasting parent materials in which calcite was present or absent (alkaline and non-alkaline soils) on the concentrations of dissolved organic carbon (DOC), low-molecular weight organic acids (LMWOA) and glucose in soil solution. Both soils were under Norway spruce. The dynamics of LMWOAs in soil were also investigated using 14C-labelled citrate and oxalate. Some of the mineral horizons of the alkaline soils showed significantly higher concentrations of DOC, phenolics, and fumarate in soil solution and also a higher basal respiration. No major differences were seen in organic solute status in the organic horizons of the two soil types. LMWOAs were present at low concentrations in soil solution (< 1 to 25 μM). Their mineralization rate significantly decreased with soil depth, however, overall neither their concentration or half-life in soil was markedly affected by parent material. The alkaline soils had significantly higher CO2-to-soil organic C (SOC) ratios, and consequently SOC in the alkaline soils did not seem more chemically stable against mineralization. Considering possible DOC and CO2 efflux rates it was suggested that the equal or larger SOC stocks in alkaline mineral soils were most likely linked to a higher net primary productivity. In conclusion, our study found that parent material exerted only a small effect on the concentration and dynamics of organic solutes in soil solution. This suggests that in comparison to other factors (e.g. vegetation cover, climate etc) parent material may not be a major regulator of the organic solute pool in soil.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)468-477
Number of pages10
Issue number3-4
Publication statusPublished - 15 Apr 2008
Externally publishedYes


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