, Volume 71, Issue 2, pp 197–223 | Cite as

Chemical and seasonal controls on the dynamics of dissolved organic matter in a coniferous old-growth stand in the Pacific Northwest, USA

  • Yuriko Yano
  • Kate Lajtha
  • Phillip Sollins
  • Bruce A. Caldwell


Soil organic matter (SOM) is the largest terrestrial C pool, and retention and release of dissolved organic matter (DOM) cause formation and loss of SOM. However, we lack information on how different sources of DOM affect its chemical composition, and how DOM chemical composition affects retention. We studied seasonal controls on DOM production and chemical controls on retention in soils of a temperate coniferous forest. The O horizon was not usually the dominant source for dissolved organic C (DOC) or N (DON) as has been reported for other sites. Rather, net production of both DOC and DON was often greater in the shallow mineral soil (0–10 cm) than in the O horizon. DOM production in the shallow mineral soil may be from root exudation as well as turnover of fine roots and microflora in the rhizosphere. In the field, the two acid fractions (hydrophobic and hydrophilic acids) dominated the soil solution at all depths. A major portion of net production and removal of total DOC within the soil column was explained by increases and decreases in these fractions, although a shift in chemical composition of DOM between the O and mineral soil horizons suggested different origins of DOM in these layers. A larger loss of the free amino fraction to deep soil water at this study site than at other sites suggested lower retention of labile DON. Field DOM removal measurements suggest that field-measured parameters may provide a good estimate for total DOM retained in mineral soil.

Key words

Dissolved organic carbon Dissolved organic nitrogen Lysimeter Soil solution chemistry Sorption 


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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 2004

Authors and Affiliations

  • Yuriko Yano
    • 1
  • Kate Lajtha
    • 2
  • Phillip Sollins
    • 1
  • Bruce A. Caldwell
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Forest ScienceOregon State UniversityCorvallisUSA
  2. 2.Department of Botany and Plant PathologyOregon State UniversityCorvallisUSA

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