Environmental Monitoring and Assessment

, Volume 59, Issue 1, pp 73–80 | Cite as

The Effect of Smoke from Charcoal Kilns on Soil Respiration

  • Urszula Focht


The objective of the work was a laboratory examination of the effect of a water-soluble fraction of the smoke, emitted during charcoaling by dry distillation, on soil metabolism. The experimental soil was exposed to smoke for ten years and the control soil was taken from a site not exposed to smoke. Oxygen uptake and carbondioxide evolution were measured in soil samples by using the method of volumetric respirometry. When an aqueous smoke solution was added to the soil, the rate of oxygen metabolism increased by a factor 15 for the experimental soil and by a factor 5 for the control soil. A similar increase was observed in carbondioxide evaluation. RQ was clearly higher for the experimental soil. Also after the addition of an aqueous smoke solution to the soil, differences were observed in changes of RQ between the experimental and control soils. These differences suggest that respiratory metabolism is changed in the soils permanently exposed to smoke, and RQ value can be an indicator of the initial stages of soil degradation.

smoke soil degradation soil respiration 


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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1999

Authors and Affiliations

  • Urszula Focht
    • 1
  1. 1.International Center of Ecology PASPoland

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