Carbon and Nitrogen Dynamics in Wetland Soils
The pore space of wetland soils is generally filled with water rather than air as in well-drained soils. Oxygen is supplied to wetland soils by diffusion through the floodwater water and through transport via the vascular system of wetland plants. Under both conditions, oxygen is supplied more slowly than the potential consumption rate. These conditions result in the development of two distinctly different soil layers: (1) an oxidized or aerobic surface layer where oxygen is present, and (2) an underlying reduced or anaerobic layer in which no free oxygen is present (Pearsall, 1950).
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