Skip to main content Accessibility help
×
Home

Complexity of Soil Organic Matter: AMS 14C Analysis of Soil Lipid Fractions and Individual Compounds

  • Janet Rethemeyer (a1), Christiane Kramer (a2), Gerd Gleixner (a2), Guido L B Wiesenberg (a3), Lorenz Schwark (a3), Nils Andersen (a1), Marie-J Nadeau (a1) and Pieter M Grootes (a1)...

Abstract

Radiocarbon measurements of different lipid fractions and individual compounds, isolated from soil samples collected on 2 different agricultural long-term study sites, located in the rural area of Rotthalmünster (Germany) and in the city of Halle/Saale (Germany), were analyzed to obtain information about sources and the stability of soil organic matter (SOM). Different lipid compound classes were isolated by automated solvent extraction and subsequent medium-pressure liquid chromatography. Generally, 14C contents of lipid compound classes from topsoil samples of maize plots at Rotthalmünster are close to the modern atmospheric 14C content. Lower 14C values of aliphatic and aromatic hydrocarbons isolated from neutral lipids suggest a contribution of old carbon to these fractions. In contrast, 14C values of bulk soil (52 pMC) as well as isolated lipid classes from Halle are highly depleted. This can be attributed to a significant contribution of fossil carbon at this site. Extremely low 14C contents of aromatic (7 pMC) and aliphatic hydrocarbons (19 pMC) reflect the admixture of fossil hydrocarbons at the Halle site. Individual phospholipid fatty acids (PLFA), which are used as a proxy for viable microbial biomass, were isolated by preparative capillary gas chromatography (PCGC) from topsoils at Rotthalmünster and Halle. PLFA 14C values are close to atmospheric 14C values and, thus, indicate a clear microbial preference for relatively young SOM. At Rotthalmünster, the 14C concentration of short-chain unsaturated PLFAs is not significantly different from that of the atmosphere, while the saturated PLFAs show a contribution of sub-recent SOM extending over the last decades. At Halle, up to 14% fossil carbon is incorporated in PLFAs n-C17:0 and cy-C18:0, which suggests the use of fossil carbon by soil microorganisms. Moreover, it can be concluded that the 14C age of soil carbon is not indicative of its stability.

    • Send article to Kindle

      To send this article to your Kindle, first ensure no-reply@cambridge.org is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part of your Kindle email address below. Find out more about sending to your Kindle. Find out more about sending to your Kindle.

      Note you can select to send to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations. ‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be sent to your device when it is connected to wi-fi. ‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.

      Find out more about the Kindle Personal Document Service.

      Complexity of Soil Organic Matter: AMS 14C Analysis of Soil Lipid Fractions and Individual Compounds
      Available formats
      ×

      Send article to Dropbox

      To send this article to your Dropbox account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your <service> account. Find out more about sending content to Dropbox.

      Complexity of Soil Organic Matter: AMS 14C Analysis of Soil Lipid Fractions and Individual Compounds
      Available formats
      ×

      Send article to Google Drive

      To send this article to your Google Drive account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your <service> account. Find out more about sending content to Google Drive.

      Complexity of Soil Organic Matter: AMS 14C Analysis of Soil Lipid Fractions and Individual Compounds
      Available formats
      ×

Copyright

Corresponding author

Corresponding author. Email: jrethemeyer@leibniz.uni-kiel.de.

References

Hide All
Balesdent, J. 1987. The turnover of soil organic fractions estimated by radiocarbon dating. The Science of the Total Environment 62:405–8.
Bol, R, Huang, Y, Merdith, JA, Eglinton, TI, Harkness, DD, Ineson, P. 1996. The 14C age and residence time of organic matter and its lipid constituents in a stagnohumic gley soil. European Journal of Soil Science 47: 215–22.
Eglinton, TI, Aluwihare, LI, Bauer, JE, Druffel, ERM, McNichol, AP. 1996. Gas chromatographic isolation of individual compounds from complex matrices for radiocarbon dating. Analytical Chemistry 68:904–12.
Eglinton, TI, Benitez-Nelson, BC, Pearson, A, McNichol, AP, Bauer, JE, Druffel, ERM. 1997. Variability in radiocarbon ages of individual organic compounds from marine sediments. Science 277:796–9.
Falloon, P, Smith, P, Coleman, K, Marshall, S. 1998. Estimating the size of inert organic matter pool for use in the Rothamsted Carbon Model. Soil Biology and Biochemistry 30:1207–11.
FAO-ISRIC. 1990. Guidelines for Soil Description , 3rd edition. Rome: Food and Agricultural Organization.
Frostegård, Å, Bååth, E. 1996. The use of phospholipid fatty acid analysis to estimate bacterial and fugal biomass in soil. Biology and Fertility of Soils 22:5965.
Gregorich, EG, Monreal, CM, Schnitzer, M, Schulten, HR. 1996. Transformation of plant residues into soil or ganic matter: chemical characterization of plant tis sues, isolated soil fractions, and whole soil. Soil Science 161:680–93.
Hedges, JI. 1991. Lignin, cutin, amino acid and carbohydrate analysis of marine particulate organic matter. In: Hurd, DC, Spencer, DW, editors. Marine Particles: Analysis and Characterization. Geophysical Monograph 63. Washington, DC: American Geophysical Union. p 129–37.
Lichtfouse, E, Elbisser, B, Balesdent, J, Mariotti, A, Bardoux, G. 1994. Isotope and molecular evidence for direct input of maize leaf wax n-alkanes into crop soil. Organic Geochemistry 22:349–51.
Lichtfouse, E, Bardoux, G, Mariotti, A, Balesdent, J, Ballentine, DC, Mackod, SA. 1997. Molecular, 13C, and 14C evidence for the allochthonous and ancient origin of C16–C18 n-alkanes in modern soils. Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta 61:1891–8.
Merbach, W, Schmidt, L, Wittemayer, L, editors. 1999. Die Dauerdüngungsversuche in Halle (Saale). Stuttgart/Leipzip: Teubner. 150 p.
Nadeau, MJ, Schleicher, M, Grootes, PM, Erlenkeuser, H, Gottdang, A, Mous, DJW, Sarnthein, JM, Willkomm, H. 1997. The Leibniz-Labor AMS facility at the Christian-Albrechts-University, Kiel, Germany. Nuclear Instruments and Methods in Physics Research B 123: 2230.
Nadeau, MJ, Grootes, PM, Schleicher, M, Hasselberg, P, Rieck, A, Bitterling, M. 1998. Sample throughput and data quality at the Leibniz-Labor AMS facility. Radiocarbon 40(1):239–45.
O'Brien, BJ. 1986. The use of natural and anthropogenic 14C to investigate the dynamics of soil organic carbon. Radiocarbon 28(2A):358–62.
Petsch, ST, Eglinton, TI, Edwards, KJ. 2001. 14C-dead living biomass: evidence for microbial assimilation of ancient organic carbon during shale weathering. Science 292:1127–31.
Radke, M, Willsch, H, Welte, DH. 1980. Preparative hydrocarbon group type determination by automated medium pressure liquid chromatography. Analytical Chemistry 52:406–11.
Rethemeyer, J, Bruhn, F, Kramer, C, Gleixner, G, Andersen, N, Nadeau, MJ, Grootes, PM. Forthcoming. Age heterogeneity of soil organic matter. Nuclear Instruments and Methods in Physics Research B.
Rumpel, C, Balesdent, J, Grootes, PM, Weber, E, Kögel-Knabner, I. 2003. Quantification of lignite- and vegetation-derived soil carbon using 14C activity measurements in a forested chronosequence. Geoderma 112: 155–66.
Scharpenseel, HW, Becker-Heidmann, P. 1992. Twenty-five years of radiocarbon dating soils: paradigm of erring and learning. Radiocarbon 34(3):541–9.
Stuiver, M, Polach, HA. 1977. Discussion: reporting of 14C data. Radiocarbon 22(1):124.
Trumbore, SE, Bonani, G, Wölfli, W. 1990. The rates of carbon cycling in several soils from AMS 14C measurements of fractionated soil organic matter. In: Bouwman, AF, editor. Soils and the Greenhouse Effect. New York: John Wiley & Sons. p 407–14.
Trumbore, SE. 1993. Comparison of carbon dynamics in tropical and temperate soils using radiocarbon measurement. Global Biogeochemical Cycles 7(2):275–90.
Trumbore, SE. 1996. Applications of accelerator mass spectrometry to soil science. In: Boutton, TW, Yamasaki, S, editors. Mass Spectrometry of Soils. New York: Marcel Dekker. p 311–40.
Trumbore, SE, Zheng, S. 1996. Comparison of fractionation methods for soil organic matter 14C analysis. Radiocarbon 38(2):219–29.
Uchida, M, Shibata, Y, Kawamura, K, Yoneda, M, Mukai, H, Tanaka, A, Uehiro, T, Morita, M. 2000. Isolation of individual fatty acids in sediments using preparative capillary gas chromatography (PCGC) for radiocarbon analysis at NIES-TERRA. Nuclear Instruments and Methods in Physics Research B 172:583–8.
van Bergen, PF, Bull, ID, Poulton, PR, Evershed, RP. 1997. Organic geochemical studies of soil from the Rothamsted Classical Experiments—I. Total lipid extracts, solvent insoluble residues and humic acids from Broadbalk Wilderness. Organic Geochemistry 26: 117–35.
Wiesenberg, GLB, Schwark, L, Schmidt, MWI. Forthcoming (a). Improved automated extraction and separation procedure for soil lipid analyses. European Journal of Soil Science.
Wiesenberg, GLB, Schwarzbauer, J, Schmidt, MWI, Schwark, L. Forthcoming (b). Sources and turnover of soil organic matter derived from n-alkane/n-carboxylic acid compositions and C-isotope signature. Organic Geochemistry.
Willsch, H, Clegg, H, Horsfield, B, Radke, M, Wilkes, H. 1997. Liquid chromatographic separation of sediment, rock, and coal extracts and crude oil into compound classes. Analytical Chemistry 69:4203–9.
White, DC, David, WM, Nickels, JS, King, JD, Bobbie, RJ. 1979. Determination of the sedimentary microbial biomass by extractable lipid phosphate. Oecologia 40: 5162.
Zelles, L, Bai, QY. 1993. Fractionation of fatty acid derived from soil lipids by solid phase extraction and their quantitative analysis by GC-MS. Soil Biology and Biochemistry 25:495507.
Zelles, L. 1999. Fatty acid patterns of phospholipids and lipopolysaccharides in the characterization of microbial communities in soil: a review. Biology and Fertility of Soils 29:111–29.

Metrics

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between <date>. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Usage data cannot currently be displayed