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Impacts of litter decay on organic leachate composition and reactivity

Hensgens, Geert and Lechtenfeld, Oliver J. and Guillemette, Francois and Laudon, Hjalmar and Berggren, Martin (2021). Impacts of litter decay on organic leachate composition and reactivity. Biogeochemistry. 154 , 99-117
[Research article]

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Abstract

Litter decomposition produces labile and recalcitrant forms of dissolved organic matter (DOM) that significantly affect soil carbon (C) sequestration. Chemical analysis of this DOM can provide important knowledge for understanding soil DOM dynamics, but detailed molecular analyses on litter derived DOM are scarce. Here we use ultrahigh resolution mass spectrometry (FT-ICR MS) to characterize the molecular composition of DOM from fresh and progressively decomposed litter samples. We compared high reactive (HR) and low reactive (LR) litter sources with regard to changes in the chemistry and bioavailability of leachates throughout the early phase of litter decay. We show that litter reactivity is a driver of chemical changes in the leached DOM of litter species. Birch, alder and Vaccinium (i.e. HR) litter initially produced more DOM with a higher lability than that of spruce, pine and wood (i.e. LR) litter. Labile oxidized phenolic compounds were abundant in leachates produced during the initial HR litter decay stages, indicating litter lignin degradation. However, the similarity in chemistry between HR and LR leachates increased during the litter decay process as highly leachable structures in HR litter were depleted. In contrast, chemistry of leachates from LR litter changed little during the litter decay process. The oxygenated phenolic compounds from HR litter were driving the lability of HR leachates and the changes in relative abundance of molecules during DOM incubation. This appeared to result in the creation of stable aliphatic secondary microbial compounds. In LR leachates, lability was driven by labile aliphatic compounds, while more resistant phenolic compounds were associated with recalcitrance. These results show how DOM dynamics follow different paths depending on litter reactivity, which has important implications for soil biogeochemistry and C sequestration.

Authors/Creators:Hensgens, Geert and Lechtenfeld, Oliver J. and Guillemette, Francois and Laudon, Hjalmar and Berggren, Martin
Title:Impacts of litter decay on organic leachate composition and reactivity
Series Name/Journal:Biogeochemistry
Year of publishing :2021
Volume:154
Page range:99-117
Number of Pages:19
Publisher:SPRINGER
ISSN:0168-2563
Language:English
Publication Type:Research article
Article category:Scientific peer reviewed
Version:Published version
Copyright:Creative Commons: Attribution 4.0
Full Text Status:Public
Subjects:(A) Swedish standard research categories 2011 > 4 Agricultural Sciences > 401 Agricultural, Forestry and Fisheries > Forest Science
(A) Swedish standard research categories 2011 > 4 Agricultural Sciences > 401 Agricultural, Forestry and Fisheries > Soil Science
Keywords:Dissolved organic matter, Litter leaching, Reactivity, Decomposition, FT-ICR MS, Boreal, DOM, DOC
URN:NBN:urn:nbn:se:slu:epsilon-p-111874
Permanent URL:
http://urn.kb.se/resolve?urn=urn:nbn:se:slu:epsilon-p-111874
Additional ID:
Type of IDID
DOI10.1007/s10533-021-00799-3
Web of Science (WoS)000648358400001
ID Code:23723
Faculty:S - Faculty of Forest Sciences
Department:(S) > Dept. of Forest Ecology and Management
Deposited By: SLUpub Connector
Deposited On:20 May 2021 12:03
Metadata Last Modified:20 May 2021 12:11

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