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Forest Sciences

Iowa State University

Iron oxidation

2015

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Lignin Decomposition Is Sustained Under Fluctuating Redox Conditions In Humid Tropical Forest Soils, Steven J. Hall, Whendee L. Silver, Vitaliy I. Timokhin, Kenneth E. Hammel Jul 2015

Lignin Decomposition Is Sustained Under Fluctuating Redox Conditions In Humid Tropical Forest Soils, Steven J. Hall, Whendee L. Silver, Vitaliy I. Timokhin, Kenneth E. Hammel

Steven J. Hall

Lignin mineralization represents a critical flux in the terrestrial carbon (C) cycle, yet little is known about mechanisms and environmental factors controlling lignin breakdown in mineral soils. Hypoxia is thought to suppress lignin decomposition, yet potential effects of oxygen (O2) variability in surface soils have not been explored. Here, we tested the impact of redox fluctuations on lignin breakdown in humid tropical forest soils during ten-week laboratory incubations. We used synthetic lignins labeled with 13C in either of two positions (aromatic methoxyl or propyl side chain Cb) to provide highly sensitive and specific measures of lignin mineralization seldom employed in …