Journal of Chemical Ecology

, Volume 20, Issue 2, pp 341–359 | Cite as

Use of water and EDTA extractions to estimate available (free and reversibly bound) phenolic acids in Cecil soils

  • U. Blum
  • A. D. Worsham
  • L. D. King
  • T. M. Gerig


Sterile and microbe reinfested Cecil Ap and Bt soil materials amended with 0 to 5 µmol/g of ferulic acid,p-coumaric acid,p-hydroxybenzoic acid, or vanillic acid were extracted after varying time intervals with water, EDTA, or NaOH to characterize sorption of cinnamic and benzoic acid derivatives and to determine the effectiveness of water and EDTA extractions in estimating concentrations of free and reversibly bound phenolic acids in soils. Basic EDTA (0.5 M, pH 8) extractions and water extractions provided good estimates of both free and reversibly bound cinnamic acid derivatives, but not of benzoic acid derivatives. Neutral EDTA (0.25 M, pH 7) and water extractions, however, were effective for both cinnamic and benzoic acid derivatives Rapid initial sorption of both cinnamic and benzoic acid derivatives was followed by slow long-term sorption of the cinnamic acid derivatives. Slow long-term sorption was not observed for the benzoic acid derivatives. The amount of sorption of phenolic acids in soil materials was directly related to the concentration of phenolic acids added to soil materials. The addition of a second phenolic acid to the soil materials did not substantially affect the sorption of each individual phenolic acid. Sodium hydroxide extractions, which were made only after phenolic acids in phenolic acid-amended and non-amended soil material were depleted by microbes, confirmed that neutral EDTA and water extractions of soils can be used to make accurate estimates of baseline (residual) levels of free and reversibly bound phenolic acids available to soil microbes and, thus, potentially to seeds and roots.

Key Words

EDTA extraction water extraction NaOH extractions Cecil soil ferulic acid p-coumaric acid p-hydroxybenzoic acid vanillic acid sorption free phenolic acids reversibly bound phenolic acids allelopathy soil microbial ecology 


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Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1994

Authors and Affiliations

  • U. Blum
    • 1
  • A. D. Worsham
    • 2
  • L. D. King
    • 3
  • T. M. Gerig
    • 4
  1. 1.Department of BotanyNorth Carolina State UniversityRaleigh
  2. 2.Department of Crop ScienceNorth Carolina State UniversityRaleigh
  3. 3.Department of Soil ScienceNorth Carolina State UniversityRaleigh
  4. 4.Department of StatisticsNorth Carolina State UniversityRaleigh

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