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This article in SSSAJ

  1. Vol. 68 No. 3, p. 1002-1011
    Received: Dec 31, 2002

    * Corresponding author(s): fiedler@uni-hohenheim.de
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Element Redistribution along Hydraulic and Redox Gradients of Low-Centered Polygons, Lena Delta, Northern Siberia

  1. S. Fiedler *a,
  2. D. Wagnerb,
  3. L. Kutzbachb and
  4. E.-M. Pfeifferc
  1. a Univ. of Hohenheim, Inst. of Soil Science and Land Evaluation, D-70593 Stuttgart, Germany
    b Alfred Wegener Institute, Foundation for Polar and Marine Research, Telegrafenberg A43, 14473 Potsdam, Germany
    c Institute of Soil Science, Allende-Platz 2, 20146 Hamburg, Germany


Wetland soils affected by permafrost are extensive in subarctic and arctic tundra. However, this fact does not imply these soils have been sufficiently investigated. In particular, studies of element translocation processes are scarce. This study was conducted (i) to determine the relationship between water and redox regimes in wetland soils in the Siberian tundra, and (ii) to investigate their influence on the distribution of redox sensitive and associate elements (Mn, Fe, P). Major geomorphic units were chosen (microhigh, polygon rim and slope; microlow, polygon center) from two low-centered polygons in the Lena Delta. Within polygons, redox potential, permafrost, and water level were measured during summer in 1999 and 2000 and (related) compared with element distribution. Manganese, Fe, and P accumulations were preferentially observed in aerobic microhighs. Anaerobic conditions in the microlows lead to a mobilization of Mn, Fe, and P. The elements migrate via water and are immobilized at the microhigh, which acts as an oxidative barrier. The element pattern, indicating an upward flux via water along redox gradients, is explained by higher evapotranspiration from soils and vegetation of the microhighs (Typic Aquiturbel) compared with soils and vegetation of the microlows (Typic Historthel). However, in further research this upward transport should be validated using labeled elements.

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