NaOH-extractable organic matter of andic soils from Galicia (NW Spain) under different land use regimes: a pyrolysis GC/MS study

J.R. Verde, P. Buurman, A. Martinez-Cortizas, F. Macias, M. Camps Arbestain

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10 Citations (Scopus)


The objective of this study was to determine to what extent the attenuation or loss of andic soil properties caused by land use change ¿ from forest (FOR, average C content 118.2 ± 23.7 g kg¿1) to agricultural land (AGR, average C content 55.7 ± 16.7 g kg¿1) use ¿ is reflected in soil organic matter (SOM) at the molecular level. For this, NaOH-extractable SOM of A horizons from 17 soils developed on amphibolitic parent material in NW Spain was studied by pyrolysis gas chromatography spectrometry (Py-GC/MS). We also included two buried andic A horizons (PAL, 2200 cal yr BP in age) on the same parent material, as a reference for the molecular composition of SOM from soils without recent litter additions. Organic matter of PAL soils had a composition largely different from that of superficial soils (FOR and AGR), with an important relative contribution of microbial polysaccharides and N-compounds, and an absence of compounds that characterize fresh plant litter (e.g. lignins). In the superficial soils, the relative contribution of lignin-derived compounds was greater in AGR than in FOR soils. Differences were also observed in the relative contribution of aliphatic compounds, FOR soils being enriched in this type of components compared with AGR soils. The results indicated that land use change from FOR to AGR, which was accompanied by a decrease in total SOM, resulted in an enrichment in primary SOM. The smaller relative abundance of primary SOM derivatives in andic FOR soils indicates that these compounds were quickly degraded in Andisols
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1096-1110
JournalEuropean Journal of Soil Science
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2008


  • polycyclic aromatic-hydrocarbons
  • ionization mass-spectrometry
  • volcanic ash soils
  • gas chromatography
  • humic substances
  • forest soil
  • acids
  • carbon
  • decomposition
  • preservation

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