The Controls of Iron and Oxygen on Hydroxyl Radical (•OH) Production in Soils

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TitleThe Controls of Iron and Oxygen on Hydroxyl Radical (•OH) Production in Soils
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2019
AuthorsTrusiak, A, Treibergs, L, Kling, GW, Cory, RM
JournalSoil Systems
Date Published12/2018

Hydroxyl radical (•OH) is produced in soils from oxidation of reduced iron (Fe(II)) by dissolved oxygen (O2) and can oxidize dissolved organic carbon (DOC) to carbon dioxide (CO2). Understanding the role of •OH on CO2 production in soils requires knowing whether Fe(II) production or O2 supply to soils limits •OH production. To test the relative importance of Fe(II) production versus O2 supply, we measured changes in Fe(II) and O2 and in situ •OH production during simulated precipitation events and during common, waterlogged conditions in mesocosms from two landscape ages and the two dominant vegetation types of the Arctic. The balance of Fe(II) production and consumption controlled •OH production during precipitation events that supplied O2 to the soils. During static, waterlogged conditions, •OH production was controlled by O2 supply because Fe(II) production was higher than its consumption (oxidation) by O2. An average precipitation event (4 mm) resulted in 200 µmol •OH m−2 per day produced compared to 60 µmol •OH m−2 per day produced during waterlogged conditions. These findings suggest that the oxidation of DOC to CO2 by •OH in arctic soils, a process potentially as important as microbial respiration of DOC in arctic surface waters, will depend on the patterns and amounts of rainfall that oxygenate the soil.

Short TitleSoil Syst.