Skip to Main Content
U.S. Forest Service
Caring for the land and serving people

United States Department of Agriculture

Home > Search > Publication Information

  1. Share via EmailShare on FacebookShare on LinkedInShare on Twitter
    Dislike this pubLike this pub
    Author(s): Timothy J. Veverica; Evan S. Kane; Amy M. Marcarelli; Sarah A. Green
    Date: 2016
    Source: Soil Science Society of America Journal
    Publication Series: Scientific Journal (JRNL)
    Station: Northern Research Station
    PDF: Download Publication  (2.0 MB)


    Globally, peatland ecosystems store tremendous amounts of C relative to their extent on the landscape, largely owing to saturated soils which limit decomposition. While there is still considerable uncertainty regarding CO2 production potential below the water table in peatland ecosystems, extracellular Fe reduction has been suggested as a dominant pathway for anaerobic metabolism. However, colorimetric methods commonly used to quantitate Fe and partition between redox species are known to be unreliable in the presence of complex humic substances, which are common in peatland pore water. We evaluated both the standard o-phenanthroline (o-P) Method and an ionic liquid extraction (ILE) Method followed by quantitation with inductively coupled plasma optical emission spectrometry (ICP–OES) to compare total Fe recovery and Fe2+/Fe3+ ratios in four distinct peatland ecosystems, ranging from rich fen to bog. While total Fe concentrations measured with ILE and o-P were correlated, the ILE method proved to be superior in both total Fe quantitation and in separately quantifying ferric (Fe3+) and ferrous (Fe2+) iron. In peat pore water, the o-P Method underestimated Fe3+ by as much as 100%. A multivariate approach utilizing fluorescenceand ultraviolet (UV)–visable (Vis) spectroscopy identified indices of dissolved organic matter (DOM) humification and redox status that correlated with poor performance of the o-P Method in peat pore water. Where these interferences are present, we suggest that site-specific empirical correction factors for quantitation of total Fe by o-P can be created from ILE of Fe, but recommend ILE for accurate appraisals of iron speciation and redox processes.

    Publication Notes

    • 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, 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.


    Veverica, Timothy J.; Kane, Evan S.; Marcarelli, Amy M.; Green, Sarah A. 2016. Ionic Liquid Extraction Unveils Previously Occluded Humic-Bound Iron in Peat Soil Pore Water. Soil Science Society of America Journal. 80: 771-782.


    Google Scholar

    Related Search

    XML: View XML
Show More
Show Fewer
Jump to Top of Page