- Micropore characteristics of organic matter pools in cemented and non-cemented podzolic horizons
- European Journal of Soil Science
- Volume | Issue number
- 65 | 5
- Pages (from-to)
- Document type
- Faculty of Science (FNWI)
- Van 't Hoff Institute for Molecular Sciences (HIMS)
In Podzols, organic matter (OM) is stabilized mainly by interaction with minerals, as a direct consequence of pedogenic processes. Metal-organic associations strongly affect OM surface features, particularly microporosity. Cemented ortstein horizons (CM) may form during podzolization, accompanied by a spatial arrangement of OM on mineral surfaces, which differs from that in non-cemented horizons (N-CM). To investigate the metal-organic associations and their changes during pedogenesis, we selected both N-CM and CM podzolic horizons, isolated NaClO-resistant OM and compared the specific surface area (SSA) before and after OM oxidation. The SSA was assessed by using N-2, to detect the pores in the range of micropores (< 2 nm) and mesopores (2-50 nm), and CO2, to measure a smaller microporosity (< 0.5 nm), which is not accessible to N-2. Only the N-CM samples showed the typical increase in N-2-SSA after the removal of labile OM, while a decrease was found in all CM horizons. The CO2-SSA revealed a large number of small micropores characterizing OM, both before and after oxidation. The smallest micropore classes (< 0.5 nm) were, however, more abundant in NaClO-resistant OM, which had therefore a larger number of N-2-inaccessible surfaces than the labile pool. The N-2-SSA data thus indicated a more homogeneous coverage of mineral surfaces by stabilized OM in CM samples. Because of the abundance of small micropores, OM in these podzolic B horizons had extremely large CO2-SSA values (about 800 m(2) g(-1)), with sharp differences between the NaClO-labile OM (290-380 m(2) g(-1)) and the NaClO-stabilized pool (1380-1860 m(2) g(-1)), thus indicating very reactive illuvial organic materials.
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