Decomposition in soil and chemical characteristics of pollen

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doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2389.2008.01022.x
Authors:Webster, E. A.; Tilston, E. L.; Chudek, J. A.; Hopkins, D. W.
Author Affiliations:Primary:
University of Stirling, School of Biological and Environmental Sciences, Stirling, United Kingdom
University of Reading, United Kingdom
University of Dundee, United Kingdom
Volume Title:European Journal of Soil Science
Source:European Journal of Soil Science, 59(3), p.551-558. Publisher: Wiley-Blackwell on behalf of the British Society of Soil Science, and the National Societies of Soil Science in Europe, Oxford, United Kingdom. ISSN: 1351-0754
Publication Date:2008
Note:In English. 29 refs.; illus., incl. 2 tables
Summary:The input to soils made by pollen and its subsequent mineralization has rarely been investigated from a soil microbiological point of view even though the amount of C and N in pollen may make an important contribution to nutrient cycling. The relative resistance to decomposition of pollen exines (outer layers) has led to much of the focus of pollen in soil being on its preservation for archaeological and palaeo-ecological purposes. Aspects of the chemical composition and decomposition of pollen from birch (Betula alba) and maize (Zea mays) in soil has been examined. The relatively large N contents, small C-to-N ratios and large water-sol. contents of pollen from both species indicated that they would be readily mineralised in soil. When added to soil and incubated at 16°C an amount of C equivalent to 22-26% of the added pollen C was lost as CO2 within 22 days, with the Z. mays pollen decomposing faster. For B. alba pollen, the water-sol. fraction decomposed faster than the whole pollen and the insoluble fraction decomposed more slowly over 22 days. By contrast, there were no significant differences in the decomposition rates of the different fractions from Z. mays pollen. Solid-state 13 C NMR revealed no gross chemical differences between the pollen of these two species, with strong resonances in the alkyl- and methyl-C region (0-45 p.p.m.) indicative of aliphatic compounds, the O-alkyl-C (60-90 p.p.m.) and the acetal- and ketal-C region (90-110 p.p.m.) indicative of polysaccharides, and the carbonyl-C region indicative of peptides and carboxylic acids. In addition, both pollens gave a small but distinct resonance at 55 p.p.m. attributed to N-alkyl-C. The resonance attributed to polysaccharides were lost completely or substantially reduced after decomposition. [G.L.B.]
Subsections:Organic geochemistry; Petrology; weathering; soils
Subjects:Aliphatic hydrocarbons; Carbohydrates; Carbon; Carbon dioxide; Carboxylic acids; Chemical composition; Chemical properties; Degradation; Exine; Geochemical cycle; Hydrocarbons; Miospores; Nitrogen; NMR spectra; Nutrients; Organic acids; Organic compounds; Palynomorphs; Peptides; Podzols; Pollen; Polysaccharides; Soil treatment; Soils; Spectra; Statistical analysis; Europe; Great Britain; Scotland; United Kingdom; Western Europe; Decomposition; Seaton Scotland
Coordinates:N563400 N563400 W0023212 W0023212
Abstract Numbers:08M/2290
Record ID:2016108135
Copyright Information:GeoRef, Copyright 2019 American Geosciences Institute. Reference includes data from Mineralogical Abstracts, United Kingdom, Twickenham, United Kingdom
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