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Carbon Isotope Measurement as An Index of Soil Development

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  18 July 2016

S J Ladyman
Affiliation:
NERC Radiocarbon Laboratory, Scottish Universities Research and Reactor Centre, East Kilbride, Scotland
D D Harkness
Affiliation:
NERC Radiocarbon Laboratory, Scottish Universities Research and Reactor Centre, East Kilbride, Scotland
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Abstract

14C and 13C enrichment values are reported for a series of surface soil profiles which represent the progressive transition from mor to mull humus induced by birch (Betula pendula) colonization.

Variations in Δ and δ13C, which range between 85 to 154‰ modern and −28.1 to −25.3‰ (PDB), respectively, reflect changes in the rate and mode of organic decomposition. The most marked alterations in soil character occur over the first few decades following the introduction of birch, with clear isotopic evidence for the deeper penetration and accelerated mineralization of organic material.

Type
Soils and Groundwater
Copyright
Copyright © The American Journal of Science

References

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