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Chemical structure and preservation processes of organic matter in soils and sediments

AuthorsDerenne, S.; Knicker, Heike
Issue Date2000
CitationOrganic Geochemistry 31: 607-608 (2000)
AbstractUntil recently, geochemists and soil scientists appeared to belong to two distinct scientiÆc commu- nities that did not interact. However, as recently stressed in a review by Hedges and Oades ( Organic Geochem- istry , 27, 319±361, 1997), striking similarities exist between soils and surface marine sediments since both environments comprise complex mixtures of degraded biomass containing mineral particles, water and micro- organisms. Consequently, a common analytical approach could be developed to examine the chemical structure of both types of organic matter (OM). Spec- troscopic and pyrolytic methods are a priori suitable tools but mineral removal is often a prerequisite and may lead to the alteration of the organic matter. Sedi- mentary OM is usually processed using solvent extrac- tions and base and acid hydrolyses to a ord di erent fractions which are further analysed by conventional methods such as GC and GC/MS, whereas analyses of soil OM usually involves particle size fractionation as a Ærst step. Moreover, observations using light and elec- tron microscopy are increasingly carried out on both types of OM.
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