Transformations in occluded light fraction organic matter in a clayey oxisol; evidence from 13C-CCPMAS-NMR and &13C signature

R. Roscoe, P. Buurman, B. van Lagen, E.J. Velthorst

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17 Citations (Scopus)


We hypothesised that, during occlusion inside granular aggregates of oxide-rich soils, the light fraction organic matter would Undergo a strong process of decomposition, either due to the slow process of aggregate formation and stabilisation or due to digestion in the macro- and meso-fauna guts. This process would favour the accumulation of recalcitrant materials inside aggregates. The aim of this study was to compare the dynamics and the chemical composition, of free and occluded light fraction organic matter in a natural cerrado vegetation (woodland savannah) and a nearby pasture (Brachiaria spp.) to elucidate the transformations during occlusion of light fraction in aggregates of a clayey Oxisol. Nuclear Magnetic Resonance of the C-13, with Cross Polarisation and Magic Angle Spinning (C-13-CPMAS-NMR), and C-13/C-12 isotopic ratio were combined to study organic matter composition and changes in carbon dynamics, respectively. The occluded light fraction had a slower turnover than. the free light fraction and the heavy fraction. Organic matter in the occluded fraction also showed a higher degree of decomposition. The results confirm that processes of soil organic matter occlusion in the typical "very fine strong granular" structure of the studied oxide-rich soil led to an intense transformation, selectively preserving stable organic matter. The small amount of organic material stored as occluded light faction, as well as its stability, suggests that this is not an important or manageable sink for sequestration of atmospheric CO2.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)811-818
JournalRevista Brasileira de Ciência do Solo
Publication statusPublished - 2004


  • particle-size fractions
  • c-13 nmr-spectroscopy
  • soil
  • decomposition
  • spectra
  • density
  • carbon


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