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    Author(s): Steven J. Hall; Whendee L. Silver; Vitaliy I. Timokhin; Kenneth E. Hammel
    Date: 2016
    Source: Soil Biology and Biochemistry
    Publication Series: Scientific Journal (JRNL)
    Station: Forest Products Laboratory
    PDF: Download Publication  (825.0 KB)


    The importance of lignin as a recalcitrant constituent of soil organic matter (SOM) remains contested. Associations with iron (Fe) oxides have been proposed to specifically protect lignin from decomposition, but impacts of Fe-lignin interactions on mineralization rates remain unclear. Oxygen (O2) fluctuations characteristic of humid tropical soils drive reductive Fe dissolution and precipitation, facilitating multiple types of Fe-lignin interactions that could variably decompose or protect lignin. We tested impacts of Fe addition on 13C methoxyl-labeled lignin mineralization in soils that were exposed to static or fluctuating O2. Iron addition suppressed lignin mineralization to 21% of controls, regardless of O2 availability. However, Fe addition had no effect on soil CO2 production, implying that Fe oxides specifically protected lignin methoxyls but not bulk SOM. Iron oxide-lignin interactions represent a specific mechanism for lignin stabilization, linking SOM biochemical composition to turnover via geochemistry.

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    Hall, Steven J.; Silver, Whendee L.; Timokhin, Vitaliy I.; Hammel, Kenneth E. 2016. Iron addition to soil specifically stabilized lignin. Soil Biology and Biochemistry. 98: 95-98.


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    Carbon stabilization, Iron, Lignin, Recalcitrance, Redox, Soil organic matter

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