The aim of this study was to determine the content, distribution and behaviour of Al in soils under beech forest with different parent rock, and to assess the role of herbaceous vegetation on soil Al behaviour. We hypothesize that the contents of elements in the soil sorption complex (Al etc.) are strongly influenced by vegetation cover. Also, low molecular mass organic acids (LMMOA) can be considered as an indicator of soil organic matter (SOM) decomposition and vegetation litter turnover. Speciation of LMMOA, nutrition content (PO43−, Ca2+, K+) and element composition in aqueous extracts were determined by means of ion chromatography and inductively coupled plasma - optical emission spectrometry (ICP-OES) respectively. Active and exchangeable pH, sorption characteristics and exchangeable Al (Alex) were determined in BaCl2 extracts by ICP-OES. Elemental composition of parent rocks was assessed by means of X-ray fluorescence spectroscopy. Herb-poor localities showed lower pH, less nutrients (PO43−, Ca2+, K+), less LMMOA, a larger stock of SOM and greater cation exchange capacity. There was also lower mobilisation of Al in organic horizons, which explains the larger pools of Al. Generally, we can conclude that LMMOA, and thus soil vegetation cover, play an important role in the Al soil cycle.
Journal of Inorganic Biochemistry – Elsevier
Published: Apr 1, 2018
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