Formation and properties of organic matter in a forest soil, as revealed by its biological activity, wet chemical analysis, CPMAS 13C-NMR spectroscopy and pyrolysis-field ionization mass spectrometry

Beyer, L.S.hulten, H.; Fruend, R.I.mler, U.

Soil biology and biochemistry 25(5): 587-596


ISSN/ISBN: 0038-0717
DOI: 10.1016/0038-0717(93)90198-k
Accession: 002386593

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In a loamy Typic Hapludalf under beech and oak, the formation of soil organic matter was investigated using morphological and biological measurements, as well as wet chemistry, CPMAS 13C-NMR spectroscopy, and pyrolysis-field ionization mass spectrometry. Separation of the L, Of, and Oh horizon of the litter, and movement of fulvic acids into the subsoil indicated podzolization. About 90% of the litter was metabolized in 1 yr, with earthworms and gastropods being mainly responsible for the intensive mixing in the mull-like soil. Soil organism activity reached a maximum in spring and autumn. The major constituents of the litter horizons were polysaccharides and lignins, with minor amounts of aliphatic compounds and proteins. Humic substances dominated the mineral soil horizons, fulvic acids being the major fraction.