, Volume 5, Issue 2, pp 221–242 | Cite as

Cycling of inorganic and organic sulfur in peat from Big Run Bog, West Virginia

  • R. Kelman Wieder
  • Gerald E. Lang


Total S concentration in the top 35 cm of Big Run Bog peat averaged 9.7 μmol·g — wet mass−1 (123 μmol·g dry mass−1). Of that total, an average of 80.8% was carbon bonded S, 10.4% was ester sulfate S, 4.5% was FeS2­S, 2.7% was FeS­S, 1.2% was elemental S, and 0.4% was SO42−­S. In peat collected in March 1986, injected with35S­SO42− and incubated at 4 °C, mean rates of dissimilatory sulfate reduction (formation of H2S + S0 + FeS + FeS2), carbon bonded S formation, and ester sulfate S formation averaged 3.22, 0.53, and 0.36 nmol·g wet mass−1·h−1, respectively. Measured rates of sulfide oxidation were comparable to rates of sulfate reduction. Although dissolved SO42− concentrations in Big Run Bog interstitial water (< 200 µM) are low enough to theoretically limit sulfate reducing bacteria, rates of sulfate reduction integrated throughout the top 30–35 cm of peat of 9 and 34 mmol·m−2·d−1 (at 4 °C are greater than or comparable to rates in coastal marine sediments. We suggest that sulfate reduction was supported by a rapid turnover of the dissolved SO42− pool (average turnover time of 1.1 days). Although over 90% of the total S in Big Run Bog peat was organic S, cycling of S was dominated by fluxes through the inorganic S pools.

Key words

carbon bonded S ester sulfate S sulfate reduction sulfide oxidation sulfur cycling West Virginia wetland 


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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1988

Authors and Affiliations

  • R. Kelman Wieder
    • 1
    • 2
  • Gerald E. Lang
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Dept. of BiologyVillanova UniversityVillanovaUSA
  2. 2.Dept. of BiologyWest Virginia UniversityMorgantownUSA

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