Oxidation of elemental-S in coastal-dune sands and soils
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S-oxidation was studied in samples of (a) coastal sands lacking vegetation; (b) sands from beneath isolated stands ofAmmophila arenaria andHippophaë rhamnoides; and (c) dune soils obtained from beneath vegetation growing on mature dunes. S-oxidation in samples taken from dune environments was compared with the process in a fertile garden soil.
Elemental-S was oxidized to SO 4 2− in all samples, with S2O 3 2− being formed as intermediates. S-oxidation was most pronounced in the dune soil, followed by the garden soil,Ammophila arenaria andH. rhamnoides rhizospheres and finally the non-vegetated sand. The rate of S-oxidation thus generally increased with increasing C and N content, increasing vegetation cover and decreasing soil-sand pH.
Maximum S-oxidation occurred at 30–37°C, but some of the intermediates appeared even at 45°C, presumably indicating abiotic S-oxidation at high temperatures. S-oxidation decreased the pH of the two soils studied, but did not markedly acidify the unvegetated or rhizosphere sands.
Key wordsAmmophila arenaria Coastal environments Hippophaë rhamnoides Soil acidification Soil microorganisms Sulphur oxidation
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