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Changes in the humus status and the structure of the microbial biomass in hydrogen exhalation places


The exhalation of hydrogen out of the earth’s deep sediments in the areas usually confined to tectonic fractures has been investigated. In places of hydrogen exhalation, ring-shaped structures of subsidence are formed. They are well identified on satellite images. The concentrations of molecular hydrogen measured in the field exceed to a great extent its probable production in soils. The soils influenced by two factors—a flux of molecular hydrogen and temporary waterlogging—are shown to degrade rapidly. The humus content decreases by 2–3 times; the optical density of the humic acids drops significantly; and the humus distribution, according to the morphological features, points to its high mobility. On the whole, hydrogen emissions inhibit the microbial activity resulting in a drastic decrease of the total microbial biomass and a greater contribution of bacteria to its structure. In a model experiment with hydrogen passing through a soil column, the bleaching of the soil by 2% and some reduction in the optical density of the humic acids were recorded.

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Original Russian Text © N.I. Sukhanova, S.Ya. Trofimov, L.M. Polyanskaya, N.V. Larin, V.N. Larin, 2013, published in Pochvovedenie, 2013, No. 2, pp. 152–162.

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Sukhanova, N.I., Trofimov, S.Y., Polyanskaya, L.M. et al. Changes in the humus status and the structure of the microbial biomass in hydrogen exhalation places. Eurasian Soil Sc. 46, 135–144 (2013).

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  • Hydrogen
  • degradation
  • soil humus content