Staff Publications

Staff Publications

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    'Staff publications' is the digital repository of Wageningen University & Research

    'Staff publications' contains references to publications authored by Wageningen University staff from 1976 onward.

    Publications authored by the staff of the Research Institutes are available from 1995 onwards.

    Full text documents are added when available. The database is updated daily and currently holds about 240,000 items, of which 72,000 in open access.

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    Aggregation and organic matter in subarctic Andosols under different grassland management
    Lehtinen, T. ; Gisladottir, G. ; Lair, G.J. ; Leeuwen, J.P. van; Blum, W.E.H. ; Bloem, J. ; Steffens, M. ; Ragnarsdottir, K.V. - \ 2015
    Acta Agriculturae Scandinavica Section B-Soil and Plant Science 65 (2015)3. - ISSN 0906-4710 - p. 246 - 263.
    c-13 nmr-spectroscopy - soil microbial biomass - mediterranean conditions - structural stability - cultivated soils - farming systems - volcanic soils - carbon stocks - land-use - tillage
    Quantity and quality of soil organic matter (SOM) affect physical, chemical, and biological soil properties, and are pivotal to productive and healthy grasslands. Thus, we analyzed the distribution of soil aggregates and assessed quality, quantity, and distribution of SOM in two unimproved and improved (two organic and two conventional) grasslands in subarctic Iceland, in Haplic and Histic Andosols. We also evaluated principal physicochemical and biological soil properties, which influence soil aggregation and SOM dynamics. Macroaggregates (>250 µm) in topsoils were most prominent in unimproved (62–77%) and organically (58–69%) managed sites, whereas 20–250 µm aggregates were the most prominent in conventionally managed sites (51–53%). Macroaggregate stability in topsoils, measured as mean weight diameter, was approximately twice as high in organically managed (12–20 mm) compared with the conventionally managed (5–8 mm) sites, possibly due to higher organic inputs (e.g., manure, compost, and cattle urine). In unimproved grasslands and one organic site, macroaggregates contributed between 40% and 70% of soil organic carbon (SOC) and nitrogen to bulk soil, whereas in high SOM concentration sites free particulate organic matter contributed up to 70% of the SOC and nitrogen to bulk soil. Aggregate hierarchy in Haplic Andosols was confirmed by different stabilizing mechanisms of micro- and macroaggregates, however, somewhat diminished by oxides (pyrophosphate-, oxalate-, and dithionite-extractable Fe, Al, and Mn) acting as binding agents for macroaggregates. In Histic Andosols, no aggregate hierarchy was observed. The higher macroaggregate stability in organic farming practice compared with conventional farming is of interest due to the importance of macroaggregates in protecting SOM and soils from erosion, which is a prerequisite for soil functions in grasslands that are envisaged for food production in the future.
    A detailed pyrolysis-GC/MS analysis of a black carbon-rich acidic colluvial soil (Atlantic ranker) from NW Spain
    Kaal, J. ; Martinez-Cortizas, A. ; Nierop, K.G.J. ; Buurman, P. - \ 2008
    Applied Geochemistry 23 (2008)8. - ISSN 0883-2927 - p. 2395 - 2405.
    c-13 nmr-spectroscopy - volcanic ash soils - solid-state c-13 - organic-matter - forest soil - chemical-composition - mass-spectrometry - humic acids - gc-ms - biomass
    Despite the potentially large contribution of black carbon (BC) to the recalcitrant soil organic matter pool, the molecular-level composition of aged BC has hardly been investigated. Pyrolysis-GC/MS, which provides structural information on complex mixtures of organic matter, was applied to the NaOH-extractable organic matter of an acidic colluvial soil (Atlantic ranker) sampled with high resolution (5 cm) that harbours a fire record of at least 8.5 ka. Additionally, 5 charcoal samples from selected soil layers were characterised using pyrolysis-GC/MS for comparison. Pyrolysis-GC/MS allowed distinguishing between BC and non-charred organic matter. It is argued that a large proportion of the polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), benzenes and benzonitrile in the pyrolysates of the extractable organic matter, together accounting for 21¿54% of total identified peak area, derived from BC. In charcoal samples, these compounds accounted for 60¿98% of the pyrolysis products. The large quantity of BC in almost all samples suggested a key role of fire in Holocene soil evolution. The high C content of the soil (up to 136 g C kg¿1 soil) may be attributed to the presence of recalcitrant organic C as BC, in addition to the sorptive preservation processes traditionally held responsible for long-term C storage in acid soils. Interactions between reactive Al hydroxides and BC could explain the longevity of BC in the soil. This work is the first thorough pyrolysis-GC/MS based study on ancient fire-affected organic matter.
    Soil organic matter chemistry in allophanic soils: a pyrolysis-GC/MS study of a Costa Rican Andosol catena
    Buurman, P. ; Peterse, F. ; Almendros Martin, G. - \ 2007
    European Journal of Soil Science 58 (2007)6. - ISSN 1351-0754 - p. 1330 - 1347.
    chromatography-mass-spectrometry - volcanic ash soils - rothamsted classical experiments - particle-size fractions - c-13 nmr-spectroscopy - humic substances - chemical-composition - gas chromatography - acid fraction - origin
    Soil organic matter (SOM) in allophanic soils is supposed to accumulate due to protection caused by binding to allophane, aluminium and iron. We investigated a catena of allophanic and non-allophanic soils in Costa Rica to determine the effect of such binding mechanisms on SOM chemistry. These soils contain no contribution of black carbon. Molecular characterization of litter, extractable and dispersed organic matter was done by Curie-point pyrolysis-GC/MS. The molecular chemistry of the organic fractions indicates a strong decomposition of plant-derived organic matter and a strong contribution of microbial sugars and N-compounds to SOM. Both the decomposition of plant-derived SOM ¿ including that of relatively recalcitrant compounds ¿ and the relative contribution of microbial SOM were greater in allophanic samples than in non-allophanic ones. This suggests that chemical protection does not act on primary OM, although it may influence the accumulation of secondary OM in these soils. The effect of allophane on SOM contents in such perhumid soils is probably through incorporation of decomposition products and microbial SOM in very fine aggregates that ¿ in a perhumid environment ¿ remain saturated with water during much of the year. Greater concentrations of aliphatics are found in allophanic residues, but there is no evidence of any specific mineral-organic binding. The results do not support the existing theory of chemical protection of plant-derived components through binding to allophane, iron and aluminium.
    NaOH and Na4P2O7 extractable organic matter in two allophanic volcanic ash soils of the Azores Islands : a pyrolysis GC/MC study
    Nierop, K.G.J. ; Bergen, P.F. van; Buurman, P. ; Lagen, B. van - \ 2005
    Geoderma 127 (2005)1-2. - ISSN 0016-7061 - p. 36 - 51.
    chromatography-mass-spectrometry - rothamsted classical experiments - hydromorphic forest-podzol - c-13 nmr-spectroscopy - gas-chromatography - chemical-composition - humic acids - vegetation succession - wood - horizons
    NaOH and Na4P2O7 extractable organic matter fractions of two volcanic ash profiles (Azores Islands) were studied by pyrolysis gas chromatography/mass spectrometry (Py-GC/MS). The soils did not have melanic horizons and were not affected by burning. The pyrolysates of all samples were dominated by polysaccharide-derived compounds. The Na 4P2O7 extractable fractions were relatively enriched by markers of lignin, proteins, and lipids. Only in the topsoils (A horizons) did lignin appear to be present in significant amounts and, although present with a high degree of side-chain oxidation, the distribution of lignin-derived products could be related to the overlying vegetation. A similar trend was observed for lipids, in particular the high abundance of C 26 alkanol in profile EUR05 clearly reflecting grass. Below the topsoils, lignin and lipids were hardly detectable. With depth, markers of intact polysaccharides decreased relatively to smaller polysaccharide pyrolysis products. The same is true for chitin. Compared with other soils, the relative abundance of lignin and lipids was remarkably low. The occurrence of large amounts of polysaccharides including chitin points to an important in situ production of soil organic matter by fungi and/or arthropods. There is no indication of preservation of plant-derived organic matter by allophane or Al3+, but the presence of large amounts of (microbial) polysaccharides and chitin suggests that these secondary organic matter products are indeed stabilized.
    Mean residence time of kaolinite and smectite-bound organic matter in mozambiquan soils
    Wattel-Koekkoek, E.J.W. ; Buurman, P. - \ 2004
    Soil Science Society of America Journal 68 (2004)1. - ISSN 0361-5995 - p. 154 - 161.
    particle-size fractions - c-13 nmr-spectroscopy - carbon - dynamics - density
    To gain understanding about the process of global warming, it is essential to study the global C cycle. In the global C cycle, soil organic matter (SOM) is a major source and sink of atmospheric C. Turnover times of C in these soil organic compounds vary from hours to thousands of years. Clay minerals can stabilize SOM through the formation of organo-mineral bonds. The aim of this research was first, to determine the mean residence time (MRT) of organic matter that is bound to different clay mineral surfaces, and second, to explain the variance in the measured MRTs using multilinear regression. We especially studied organic matter that is bound to kaolinite or smectite. We analyzed the 14C activity of organic matter in the whole and heavy clay-size fraction of kaolinite- and smectite-dominated soils from N'Ropa, in northern Mozambique. The soils originated from natural savanna systems and bamboo forest. We assumed that C inputs and outputs are in equilibrium in such soils, so that the 14C age equals the MRT of the organic C. For both kaolinite- and smectite-dominated soils, the organic matter in the whole and heavy clay-size fraction and extracts had a fast turnover (400¿500 yr on average). The MRT of kaolinite-bound organic matter did not differ significantly from that of smectite-bound organic matter. Multiple linear regression indicates that the effective cation-exchange capacity (ECEC) is the main factor to explain variance in the MRT of the extracted SOM. These results agree with previously found trends in organic matter turnover of kaolinite and smectite-associated clay.
    Transformations in occluded light fraction organic matter in a clayey oxisol; evidence from 13C-CCPMAS-NMR and &13C signature
    Roscoe, R. ; Buurman, P. ; Lagen, B. van; Velthorst, E.J. - \ 2004
    Revista Brasileira de Ciência do Solo 28 (2004). - ISSN 0100-0683 - p. 811 - 818.
    particle-size fractions - c-13 nmr-spectroscopy - soil - decomposition - spectra - density - carbon
    We hypothesised that, during occlusion inside granular aggregates of oxide-rich soils, the light fraction organic matter would Undergo a strong process of decomposition, either due to the slow process of aggregate formation and stabilisation or due to digestion in the macro- and meso-fauna guts. This process would favour the accumulation of recalcitrant materials inside aggregates. The aim of this study was to compare the dynamics and the chemical composition, of free and occluded light fraction organic matter in a natural cerrado vegetation (woodland savannah) and a nearby pasture (Brachiaria spp.) to elucidate the transformations during occlusion of light fraction in aggregates of a clayey Oxisol. Nuclear Magnetic Resonance of the C-13, with Cross Polarisation and Magic Angle Spinning (C-13-CPMAS-NMR), and C-13/C-12 isotopic ratio were combined to study organic matter composition and changes in carbon dynamics, respectively. The occluded light fraction had a slower turnover than. the free light fraction and the heavy fraction. Organic matter in the occluded fraction also showed a higher degree of decomposition. The results confirm that processes of soil organic matter occlusion in the typical "very fine strong granular" structure of the studied oxide-rich soil led to an intense transformation, selectively preserving stable organic matter. The small amount of organic material stored as occluded light faction, as well as its stability, suggests that this is not an important or manageable sink for sequestration of atmospheric CO2.
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