Skip to Main Content
Density fractionation of forest soils: methodological questions and interpretation of incubation results and turnover time in an ecosystem contextAuthor(s): Susan E. Crow; Christopher W. Swanston; Kate Lajtha; J. Renee Brooks; Heath Keirstead
Source: Biogeochemistry. 85: 69-90.
Publication Series: Scientific Journal (JRNL)
Station: Northern Research Station
PDF: View PDF (628.15 KB)
DescriptionSoil organic matter (SOM) is often separated by physical means to simplify a complex matrix into discrete fractions. A frequent approach to isolating two or more fractions is based on differing particle densities and uses a high density liquid such as sodium polytungstate (SPT). Soil density fractions are often interpreted as organic matter pools with different carbon (C) turnover times, ranging from years to decades or centuries, and with different functional roles for C and nutrient dynamics. In this paper, we discuss the development and mechanistic basis of common density-based methods for dividing soil into distinct organic matter fractions. Further, we directly address the potential effects of dispersing soil in a high density salt solution on the recovered fractions and implications for data interpretation.
- Check the Northern Research Station web site to request a printed copy of this publication.
- Our on-line publications are scanned and captured using Adobe Acrobat.
- During the capture process some typographical errors may occur.
- Please contact Sharon Hobrla, email@example.com if you notice any errors which make this publication unusable.
- We recommend that you also print this page and attach it to the printout of the article, to retain the full citation information.
- This article was written and prepared by U.S. Government employees on official time, and is therefore in the public domain.
CitationCrow, Susan E.; Swanston, Christopher W.; Lajtha, Kate; Brooks, J. Renee; Keirstead, Heath 2007. Density fractionation of forest soils: methodological questions and interpretation of incubation results and turnover time in an ecosystem context. Biogeochemistry. 85: 69-90.
- Chemical and mineral control of soil carbon turnover in abandoned tropical pastures
- Soil carbon and nitrogen content and stabilization in mid-rotation, intensively managed sweetgum and loblolly stands
- Soil organic matter dynamics during 80 years of reforestation of tropical pastures
XML: View XML