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This article in SSSAJ

  1. Vol. 69 No. 1, p. 87-95
    Received: Feb 27, 2004

    * Corresponding author(s): Christine.Negra@uvm.edu
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Oxidizing Behavior of Soil Manganese

  1. Christine Negra *a,
  2. Donald S. Rossa and
  3. Antonio Lanzirottib
  1. a Dep. of Plant and Soil Sciences, Hills Bldg., Univ. of Vermont, Burlington, VT 05405-0082
    b Univ. of Chicago/CARS, National Synchrotron Light Source, Brookhaven National Lab., Upton, NY 11973-5000


Due to their high degree of reactivity, Mn oxides in soil systems may exert a greater influence on trace metal chemistry than that suggested by their relatively low abundance. In particular, Mn is the only known oxidizer of trivalent Cr in soils. We investigated soil properties that influence the Cr oxidizing capacity of Mn oxides in eight well-aerated high Mn soils. Total and easily reducible Mn abundance were quantified by extraction with 1.5 M NH2OH·HCl and 0.02 M hydroquinone. Relative average Mn oxidation state in soil samples was determined by x-ray absorption near edge structure spectroscopy (Mn-XANES) main edge energy position. Soils ranged in percentage of NH2OH·HCl-extractable Mn between 0.14 and 1.27, pH between 4.4 and 7.2, and percentage of C between 9.0 and 27.2. Manganese-XANES spectra showed that most of the study soils had a high Mn(IV)/Mn(III) ratio with edge energy position intermediate to that of a synthetic birnessite and a synthetic pyrolusite. In these high Mn soils, Mn-XANES edge energy was positively correlated with soil pH, suggesting a linear increase, over the normal range of soil pH, in the Mn(IV)/Mn(III) ratio of soil oxides. Soils with more total reducible Mn generally demonstrated greater net Cr(VI) production, but this pattern was moderated by soil pH and relative Mn oxidation state. High Mn soils with low pH and Mn oxidation state were weaker Cr oxidizers than their Mn abundance would suggest. Our data provide evidence that greater Mn abundance and greater Mn(IV)/Mn(III) ratio in soil Mn oxides enhances Cr oxidation.

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