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https://doi.org/10.5194/soil-2019-97
© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
https://doi.org/10.5194/soil-2019-97
© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

  28 Jan 2020

28 Jan 2020

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This discussion paper is a preprint. It has been under review for the journal SOIL (SOIL). The manuscript was not accepted for further review after discussion.

Short-term effects of fertilization on dissolved organic matter (DOM) in soil leachate

Alexandra Tiefenbacher1, Gabriele Weigelhofer2,3, Andreas Klik4, Matthias Pucher2,3, Jakob Santner5, Walter Wenzel6, Alexander Eder1, and Peter Strauss1 Alexandra Tiefenbacher et al.
  • 1Federal Agency for Water Management, Petzenkirchen, Austria
  • 2Institute of Hydrobiology and Aquatic Ecosystem Management, University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Vienna, Austria
  • 3WasserCluster Lunz GmbH, Austria
  • 4Institute for Soil Physics and Rural Water Management, University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Vienna, Austria
  • 5Institute of Agronomy, University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Tulln, Austria
  • 6Institute for Soil Research, University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Tulln, Austria

Abstract. Besides the importance of dissolved organic matter (DOM) in soil biogeochemical processes, there is still a debate on how agricultural intensification affects the composition and concentration of dissolved organic matter leached from soils into adjacent aquatic ecosystems. In order to investigate the immediate response of DOM leaching to fertilization, we conducted a short-term (45 day) lysimeter experiment with undisturbed silt loam and loamy sand soil cores. Mineral (calcium ammonium nitrate) or organic (pig slurry) fertilizer was applied on the soil surface with a concentration equivalent to 130 kg N ha−1. After fertilization, soil leachate was collected in 6-days intervals. Dissolved organic carbon concentrations (DOC) were measured with gas chromatography, while shifts in DOM composition were analysed using absorbance and excitation- emission fluorescence indices from peak-picking as well as from PARAFAC analysis.

During the first 12 days, fertilization of a silt loam reduced DOC concentrations in the leachate and shifted its composition towards more microbial- like compounds. Additionally, the discrepancy in DOM composition between fertilizer and control treatments of a silt loam increased with time. However, in loamy sand only mineral fertilization affected organic matter leaching and decreased DOC concentrations in the leachate during the first 12 days. Furthermore, mineral fertilization of the loamy sand led to DOM compounds with low molecular size in the first 12 days. Our results show that fertilization tends to increase microbial transformed DOM, while it reduces leached DOC concentrations. Furthermore, the magnitude of fertilization on DOC concentrations and DOM composition was highly depending on the soil texture they originate from. However, in our set-up, the experimental soil units were restricted to a soil depth of 16 cm (Ap horizon). At ecosystem level, a sufficiently long soil passage might mitigate the impact of fertilization on soil DOM.

Alexandra Tiefenbacher et al.

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Alexandra Tiefenbacher et al.

Alexandra Tiefenbacher et al.

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