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This article in SSSAJ

  1. Vol. 37 No. 4, p. 569-572
    Received: Aug 11, 1972



Amino Acid Distribution in Forest Humus Layers in British Columbia1

  1. L. E. Lowe2



Amino acid distribution was studied in hydrolysates from L, F, and H horizons at seven sites under different vegetation. Hydrolysis in an autoclave for 6 hours was found comparable to a 24-hour hydrolysis under reflux, but was more rapid and convenient and gave better precision in estimates of individual amino acid levels.

Amino acid distribution was generally similar to that reported for mineral soils, but with increasing decomposition (L→F→H), the proportions of glutamic acid, proline, and leucine decreased relative to glycine. Increasing decomposition was also associated with increasing hexosamine levels.

Amino acid-N content of horizon samples ranged from 0.07% to 0.95%, with L horizons under deciduous cover showing higher levels than corresponding horizons of coniferous or sphagnum sites. Basic amino acid-N accounted for 19 to 27% of total amino acid-N, and showed no consistent change with increasing degree of decomposition.

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