ISSN 1392-3196 / e-ISSN 2335-8947
Zemdirbyste-Agriculture, vol. 101, No. 2 (2014), p. 125–132
DOI  10.13080/z-a.2014.101.016

Total, cold and hot water extractable organic carbon in soil profile: impact of land-use change



The content of labile, especially water extractable organic carbon (WEOC) is a sensible indicator of soil organic matter quality. The main objectives of this study were: i) to investigate the profile changes of cold and hot water extractable organic carbon in forest and arable soils; ii) to evaluate the correlation between these labile fractions of soil organic matter and total organic carbon content. The experiments were carried out on a Gleyic Albeluvisol (ABg) in the upper part of Dniester basin, Western Ukraine. The soil samples were taken from 50-cm depth soil profile with 5-cm step. Total organic carbon (TOC), cold water extractable organic carbon (CWEOC) and hot water extractable organic carbon (HWEOC) contents in soil were determined as well as pH (H2O) and electrical conductivity of soil:water suspensions. The results of this study showed that in 0–50 cm layer of arable soil TOC content decreased by 32%, CWEOC – by 23% and HWEOC – by 74% compared to forest soil that confirmed a high informative role of HWEOC fraction. The profile changes of WEOC percentage were analysed. They also show that HWEOC is much more informative indicator of soil organic matter quality than CWEOC. The most prominent changes of soil chemical properties, TOC, CWEOC and HWEOC contents in response to deforestation were observed in the top 5-cm soil layer. We suggested this thin soil layer to be defined as soil stress-sensitive zone.

Key words: dissolved organic carbon, labile fraction, soil organic matter, total organic carbon, water-soluble organic matter.

Full text: 101_2_str16.pdf