Dissolved organic matter (DOM) plays an important role in ecosystem processes such as nutrient release and utilization, mobilization and transport of metals, and carbon sequestration. We investigated the chemical properties of soils from the Bear Brook Watershed in Maine (BBWM) which is the site of a long-term paired-watershed experimental acidification study that includes both deciduous and coniferous stands. Multi-dimensional fluorescence spectroscopy combined with parallel factor analysis (PARAFAC) of the spectra, nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy, and size-exclusion chromatography, were used to characterize the DOM extracted from soils sampled from BBWM at four soil depth increments in 2003. Principal component analysis of the base cation, metal, and total C content of the mineral horizons indicated a strong negative relationship between pH and soil Al, Fe, P, and C. The close clustering of Al, Fe, P, and C loadings for the mineral soils suggests that organic matter is important for Al and Fe mobilization and that P solubility is influenced by the metal mobilization process. PARAFAC modeled the fluorescence spectra with three fluorescing components that were in the landscape regions typical of humic substances: (339 nm excitation/470 nm emission), (324 nm/418 nm), and (< 240/465 nm) and the relative distributions of the three components were similar amongst the four treatments and four soil depth increments. The size exclusion chromatograms also revealed a high degree of similarity between all the extracted DOM. Our data suggests that litter quality as influenced by forest composition and ecosystem acidification exert a minor influence on the chemical composition of the water-soluble soil DOM fraction.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Soil Science