Quenea, K. and Lamy, I. and Winterton, Peter and Bermond, A. and Dumat, Camille Interactions between metals and soil organic matter in various particle size fractions of soil contaminated with waste water. (2009) Geoderma, vol. 1 (n° 3-4). pp. 217-223. ISSN 0016-7061
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Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.geoderma.2008.11.037
Only scarce field studies concern the consequences of natural soil organic matter (SOM) and metal interactions on SOM dynamics in soils. We investigated the interactions of four metals (Pb, Zn, Cu and Cd) with the SOM associated to five different size fractions (between 2000 μm and b2 μm) of a sandy top soil contaminated by waste water. Metal, organic carbon and nitrogen concentrations were measured and chemical extractions (with Na4P2O7 and EDTA) were also performed to assess the variations of SOM–metal interactions irrespective of the size fraction. In addition, as in that selected contaminated site, maize (C4 plant), replaced C3 crops 15 years ago, natural isotopic 13C labelling gave new insights into SOM turnover. First, the results suggest that metals influence the SOM dynamics in that sandy soil: a C3 “old carbon” enrichment was observed in the small or clay size fractions, while the “new” C4 carbon associated with sandy soil particles presents a rapid turnover. Metal accumulation in the clay fraction is attributed to particulate organic matter (poorly associated) and SOM decay which overtime accumulated metals and eventually these metal–SOM associations prevent the biological decomposition of such carbon pools. Moreover, the δ13C signals, C/N ratios and results from chemical extractions clearly showed differences in the origin, nature and reactivity of the SOM as a function of the size fraction with consequences on the metal behaviour. Differences were observed between metals studied: Zn seems to be mainly bound to SOM associated with clay particles, while Pb seems to prefer to interact directly with the mineral surfaces versus the SOM.
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