Sulfur cycling in grassland and parkland soils

Abstract

A conceptual diagram of the S cycle in grassland soils is presented as a framework for discussing S cycling process studies. Changes in the mineralization of S and in the redistribution of35S-labeled sulfate among soil organic matter fractions were investigated during incubation of cropped and uncropped soils.

Little mineralization or net immobilization of sulfur occurred in closed system incubations where the soils were left undisturbed throughout the incubations. Significantly more S was mineralized in open system incubations where the soils were leached periodically. Net mineralization was significantly greater in cropped soils compared with uncropped soils. The distribution of35S was significantly affected by the addition of various substrates (sulfate, cellulose or a combination of both) and by the presence of plants. Under conditions of high solution sulfate, the majority of35S incorporated was observed in the HI-reducible S fraction. When the solution sulfate concentrations were lower, there was a reduction in the proportion of35S incorporated into the HI-reducible S fraction. The results of these experiment will be discussed in relation to the hypotheses presented by McGill and Cole (1981) and the conceptual diagram of the S cycle in grassland soils.

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Contribution from a symposium on the role of sulfur in ecosystem processes held August 10, 1983, at the annual meeting of the A.I.B.S., Grand Forks, ND; Myron Mitchell, convenor.

Publication No. R 353 of the Saskatchewan Institute of Pedology, University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada S7N OWO

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Maynard, D.G., Stewart, J.W.B. & Bettany, J.R. Sulfur cycling in grassland and parkland soils. Biogeochemistry 1, 97–111 (1984). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF02181123

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Key words

  • Sulfate
  • 35S
  • mineralization
  • immobilization
  • HI-reducible S