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Organic matter retention in an upland humic podzol; the effects of pH and solute type
- KENNEDY, J., BILLETT, M.F., DUTHIE, D., FRASER, A.R., HARRISON, A.F.
- European journal of soil science 1996 v.47 no.4 pp. 615-625
- carbon, dissolved organic matter, forests, heathlands, highlands, organic compounds, organic horizons, pH, soil solution, solutes, sorption isotherms, surface water
- This paper discusses the effects of different horizons and soil solution compositions on dissolved organic matter retention in a moorland podzol and compares the results with previous studies of forest podzols. Adsorption isotherms were constructed for each of the major horizons of a freely draining, upland, moorland, humic podzol from northâeast Scotland, to investigate processes of retention and release of dissolved organic matter (DOM). Carbon retention of a range of solute types was studied, and phthalate was chosen as a model compound to measure carbon retention at three different pH values (3, 4.5 and 6). Retention and release of DOM was related to chemical, physical and mineralogical characteristics of the different soil horizons. All the mineral horizons retained DOM, with the Bs horizon most retentive. Solution pH did not significantly affect DOM retention in the O and A horizons. At pH 3 and 4.5 organic matter was weakly retained in the Bhs horizon, but strongly retained in the Bs and the Cx horizons. At pH 6 reversal of surface charge occurred in the Bs and Cx horizons resulting in the release of similar amounts of organic matter to that released from the O horizon at the same pH. The results demonstrate how podzols act as a âvalveâ in controlling the input of dissolved organic compounds into surface and ground water, and how sensitive the controlling mechanisms are to pH change.