, Volume 22, Issue 1-2, pp 167-170

The problem of pretreatment and unintentional variations in the fumigation-extraction method for time-course measurements in the field

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A control soil stored at 4°C was analyzed 38 times by fumigation-extraction during a period of 11 months to correct for variations caused by the analytical procedure. The difference in extractable C between fumigated and unfumigated samples oscillated around the average without a positive or negative trend. When data from contemporaneously extracted field samples were corrected with control soil data the variations were lowered. The deviations between corrected and uncorrected biomass C values had maxima of ±12%. Data obtained for seven dates using pre-extraction, wet-sieving, and centrifuging were compared with data obtained by the conventional procedure without any pretreatment. A negative difference from data obtained without pretreatment was found when the soil water content was decreased to 6%. The largest positive difference (+38%) was found in May during the period of highest root growth.