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The hypoiodite method for studying the nature of soil organic matter: II. Application to the organic matter and organic matter fractions of different soils

The hypoiodite method for studying the nature of soil organic matter: II. Application to the organic matter and organic matter fractions of different soils

Soil Sci 71(1): 50-65

The susceptibility to hypoiodite oxidation of the organic matter of a series of 12 soils of varying origin was investigated and considered in light of other data on pH, oxidation-reduction potentials, C/N ratios, and microbiological characteristics. On the basis of behavior, the soils were grouped according to the moisture regime dominating their formation. The arid group, comprising soils developed under a moisture deficit, includes sierozem and grassland soils; the humid group, developed under excess moisture, includes forested soils of several degrees of podzolization. The 2 groups of soils are characteristically different in their responses to hypoiodite oxidation. Comparison of the effect on the organic matter of the weak oxidant, NaOI, with that of the strong oxidant, K2Cr2O7, establishes the partial nature of the hypoiodite reaction. K2Cr2O7 itself reflects differences in susceptibility of organic matter to partial oxidation but is incapable of detecting more than gross differences. The correlation of the activity index with other soil properties is considered good. It is concluded that the hypoiodite method is capable of detecting differences in the nature of soil organic matter of arid and humid soils. The data presented do not indicate the reasons for these differences. The hypoiodite method is considered to be a valuable tool in research on soil organic matter. As a semispecific oxidant, hypoiodite is especially useful for detecting differences in the quality of organic matter, especially of the lignin fractions, which are of major importance in soil organic matter.

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