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This article in SSSAJ

  1. Vol. 38 No. 2, p. 305-309
    Received: July 6, 1973
    Accepted: Nov 27, 1973

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Comparison of Soil Carbohydrate in Several Prairie and Forest Soils by Gas-Liquid Chromatography1

  1. B. L. Folsom,
  2. G. H. Wagner and
  3. C. L. Scrivner2



Soil carbohydrate in thirteen different profiles was investigated using gas-liquid chromatography to identify and determine quantities of monosaccharides released by acid hydrolysis. Total quantities of monosaccharides extracted by sulfuric acid were positively correlated with organic carbon for the soils studied. Differences in monosaccharide determined for the various profiles related to the influence of native vegetation and parent material. Generally high concentrations of monosaccharides occurred in the Al horizons of forested soils, while the prairie soils which had thicker surface layers contained the larger total quantities. Total monosaccharides accounted for from 9 to 24% of organic carbon. Where the influence of vegetation and parent material on development was similar for a sequence of soils, those showing a greater degree of weathering had a lower proportion of the organic carbon occurring as saccharides. Glucose, galactose, and mannose were the predominant sugars in all soils and glucose was always present in the greatest amount. Appreciable quantities of arabinose and xylose were present in all soils, and small amounts of rhamnose, fucose, and ribose were found. Changes in distribution of the various monosaccharides with depth in the profile were noted, the most consistent of which was that the amount of mannose relative to total measured carbohydrate increased with depth. There were proportionately more pentoses than hexoses in the prairie soils than the forest soils.

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