, Volume 41, Issue 3, pp 259–275 | Cite as

Stable sulfur isotopic biogeochemistry of the Hubbard Brook Experimental Forest, New Hampshire

  • Yimin Zhang
  • Myron J. Mitchell
  • Martin Christ
  • Gene E. Likens
  • H. Roy Krouse


In natural ecosystems, differences often exist in the relative abundanceof stable S isotopes (°34S) that can provide clues as tothe source, nature, and cycling of S. Values of °34S inprecipitation, throughfall, soils, soil solution, and stream waters weremeasured at the Hubbard Brook Experimental Forest (HBEF), New Hampshire.Values of °34S in precipitation and throughfall weresimilar to each other but differed seasonally. Precipitation°34S values were higher in the dormant season[°34S = 5.9±0.6‰ (17)][Mean + SE(N)]than in the growing season [°34S = 5.0±0.6‰(40)] but throughfall growing-season values were higher[°34S = 5.6±0.6‰(68)] than for the dormantseason [°34S = 4.9±0.7‰ (9)]. Different treespecies did not affect throughfall °34S values. In soilsolution, °34S values were higher in the growing season(°34S = 8.9±2.8‰; 8.8±1.7‰;and 4.0±0.6‰ for Oa, Bh, and Bs horizons, respectively) thanin the dormant season (°34S = 5.6±1.5‰;3.7±2.4‰; and 3.4±1.2‰ for Oa, Bh, and Bshorizons, respectively). These seasonal differences in°34S were probably caused by biological isotopicfractionation. The °34S values in streams were generally2‰ lower and more variable than those in precipitation andthroughfall, suggesting fractionation and/or different isotopic sources inthe soil.

biogeochemistry of sulfur ecosystem analysis nutrient cycling stable sulfur isotopes δ34isotopic fractionation 


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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1998

Authors and Affiliations

  • Yimin Zhang
    • 1
  • Myron J. Mitchell
    • 1
  • Martin Christ
    • 2
  • Gene E. Likens
    • 3
  • H. Roy Krouse
    • 4
  1. 1.College of Environmental Science and ForestryState University of New YorkSyracuseUSA
  2. 2.Department of BiologyWest Virginia UniversityMorgantownUSA
  3. 3.Institute of Ecosystem Studies, Box ABMillbrookUSA
  4. 4.Physics Dept. University of CalgaryCalgaryCanada

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