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A comparative study of the use of organic carbon and loss on ignition in defining tropical organic soil materials

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Abstract
Organic soils or Histosols or peats as they are commonly referred to, are characterized by the presence of large amounts of organic soil materials (OSM), which is commonly quantified by the Walkley and Black (1934) (WB) method to determine the soil organic matter (SOM) using a correction factor of 1.724. SOM of Histosols is also identified through a combustion (loss on ignition, LOI) or elemental C-analysis (with a carbon-nitrogen-sulfur (CNS) analyzer with combustion and gas density detector). These methods were established using temperate and boreal peat deposits and here we demonstrate that tropical peat deposits require a modified approach. Typical SE-Asian tropical lowland peat pedons from rain forest and oil palm settings were sampled and the material analysed using a CNS analyzer, WB-C and LOI. The ratios for LOI:CNS-C for the 20 samples yielded values between 2.00-3.09 with a mean of 2.50 while the LOI:WB-C ratio yielded values from 1.75 to 2.58 with a mean of 1.94. A comparison of these values for topsoils and subsoils showed mean ratios (LOI:WB-C) of 1.94 and 1.89 for topsoils and subsoils, respectively. The forest samples had higher LOI:WB-C ratios than the subsoils from oil palm settings (1.94 vs 1.84). These values suggest that the standard factor of 1.724 to correct OSM to SOM for tropical soils is untenable. The values to convert CNS and WB-C values of tropical topsoils/subsoils to SOM or LOI should be 2.5 or 1.9, respectively. Our results indicate a significant difference in the soil organic carbon (SOC) of tropical lowland peats depending on the method used.
Keywords
Histosols, organic soils, soil classification, soil organic carbon, soil organic matter, tropical peat soils, CLASSIFICATION, MATTER

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MLA
Paramananthan, S et al. “A Comparative Study of the Use of Organic Carbon and Loss on Ignition in Defining Tropical Organic Soil Materials.” COMMUNICATIONS IN SOIL SCIENCE AND PLANT ANALYSIS 49.5 (2018): 626–634. Print.
APA
Paramananthan, S., Lee, P.-X., Wong, M.-K., Van Ranst, E., Wüst, R., & Vijiandran, J. (2018). A comparative study of the use of organic carbon and loss on ignition in defining tropical organic soil materials. COMMUNICATIONS IN SOIL SCIENCE AND PLANT ANALYSIS, 49(5), 626–634.
Chicago author-date
Paramananthan, S, Pei-Xiong Lee, Mum-Keng Wong, Eric Van Ranst, RAJ Wüst, and JR Vijiandran. 2018. “A Comparative Study of the Use of Organic Carbon and Loss on Ignition in Defining Tropical Organic Soil Materials.” Communications in Soil Science and Plant Analysis 49 (5): 626–634.
Chicago author-date (all authors)
Paramananthan, S, Pei-Xiong Lee, Mum-Keng Wong, Eric Van Ranst, RAJ Wüst, and JR Vijiandran. 2018. “A Comparative Study of the Use of Organic Carbon and Loss on Ignition in Defining Tropical Organic Soil Materials.” Communications in Soil Science and Plant Analysis 49 (5): 626–634.
Vancouver
1.
Paramananthan S, Lee P-X, Wong M-K, Van Ranst E, Wüst R, Vijiandran J. A comparative study of the use of organic carbon and loss on ignition in defining tropical organic soil materials. COMMUNICATIONS IN SOIL SCIENCE AND PLANT ANALYSIS. 2018;49(5):626–34.
IEEE
[1]
S. Paramananthan, P.-X. Lee, M.-K. Wong, E. Van Ranst, R. Wüst, and J. Vijiandran, “A comparative study of the use of organic carbon and loss on ignition in defining tropical organic soil materials,” COMMUNICATIONS IN SOIL SCIENCE AND PLANT ANALYSIS, vol. 49, no. 5, pp. 626–634, 2018.
@article{8553592,
  abstract     = {Organic soils or Histosols or peats as they are commonly referred to, are characterized by the presence of large amounts of organic soil materials (OSM), which is commonly quantified by the Walkley and Black (1934) (WB) method to determine the soil organic matter (SOM) using a correction factor of 1.724. SOM of Histosols is also identified through a combustion (loss on ignition, LOI) or elemental C-analysis (with a carbon-nitrogen-sulfur (CNS) analyzer with combustion and gas density detector). These methods were established using temperate and boreal peat deposits and here we demonstrate that tropical peat deposits require a modified approach. Typical SE-Asian tropical lowland peat pedons from rain forest and oil palm settings were sampled and the material analysed using a CNS analyzer, WB-C and LOI. The ratios for LOI:CNS-C for the 20 samples yielded values between 2.00-3.09 with a mean of 2.50 while the LOI:WB-C ratio yielded values from 1.75 to 2.58 with a mean of 1.94. A comparison of these values for topsoils and subsoils showed mean ratios (LOI:WB-C) of 1.94 and 1.89 for topsoils and subsoils, respectively. The forest samples had higher LOI:WB-C ratios than the subsoils from oil palm settings (1.94 vs 1.84). These values suggest that the standard factor of 1.724 to correct OSM to SOM for tropical soils is untenable. The values to convert CNS and WB-C values of tropical topsoils/subsoils to SOM or LOI should be 2.5 or 1.9, respectively. Our results indicate a significant difference in the soil organic carbon (SOC) of tropical lowland peats depending on the method used.},
  author       = {Paramananthan, S and Lee, Pei-Xiong and Wong, Mum-Keng and Van Ranst, Eric and Wüst, RAJ and Vijiandran, JR},
  issn         = {0010-3624},
  journal      = {COMMUNICATIONS IN SOIL SCIENCE AND PLANT ANALYSIS},
  keywords     = {Histosols,organic soils,soil classification,soil organic carbon,soil organic matter,tropical peat soils,CLASSIFICATION,MATTER},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {5},
  pages        = {626--634},
  title        = {A comparative study of the use of organic carbon and loss on ignition in defining tropical organic soil materials},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/00103624.2018.1435683},
  volume       = {49},
  year         = {2018},
}

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