You could be reading the full-text of this article now if you...

If you have access to this article through your institution,
you can view this article in

Soil Carbon Characterization 10 to 15 Years After Organic Residual Application: Carbon (1s) K-Edge Near-Edge X-Ray Absorption Fine-Structure Spectroscopy Study

Li, Jinling1; Evanylo, Gregory K.1; Xia, Kang1; Mao, Jingdong2

Soil Science:
doi: 10.1097/SS.0000000000000016
Technical Article

Abstract: Application of organic residuals (e.g., biosolids and composts) to soil may provide an effective method for sequestering carbon (C), but the long-term stability of such C is not well known. Two field sites were investigated to characterize soil C status 10 to 15 years after amendment with biosolids and composts. Particulate organic matter (POM) was extracted from soil samples by physical separation methods. Near-edge X-ray absorption fine-structure spectroscopy was used to characterize the organic C in the POM fraction. Near-edge X-ray absorption fine-structure spectra revealed, on average, the presence of O-alkyl C (43%), aromatic C (17%), alkyl C (17%), carboxylic C (11%), and phenolic C (11%) in the POM. The alkyl C/O-alkyl C ratio was within the range of 0.19 to 0.69. The addition of organic residuals maintained higher proportions of alkyl C and aromatic C and lower O-alkyl C in the POM fraction than the control, thus revealing a higher degree of organic C decomposition. The results suggest that the application of organic residuals can increase soil C decomposition and thus improves long-term soil C stability.

Author Information

1Department of Crop and Soil Environmental Sciences, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Blacksburg, Virginia, USA. Dr. Jinling Li is corresponding author.

2Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, Old Dominion University, Norfolk, Virginia, USA.

Address for correspondence: Dr. Jinling Li, Department of Crop and Soil Environmental Sciences, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Blacksburg, VA 24061, USA. E-mail:

Financial Disclosures/Conflicts of Interest: This research was financially supported by the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments.

Received July 10, 2013.

Accepted for publication October 10, 2013.

© 2013Wolters Kluwer Health | Lippincott Williams & Wilkins