Blackwell Publishing Journal Backfiles 1879-2005
Agriculture, Forestry, Horticulture, Fishery, Domestic Science, Nutrition
Under anaerobic conditions, microbes closely interact with geochemical reactions and can have an impact on the soil, the deep vadose zone, the underlying aquifer and the atmosphere. We have designed a model combining anaerobic microbial activities with geochemical reactions in the soil, and assessed it in batch experiments. The model describes the dynamics of six functional microbial communities, their decomposition after death, and the catabolism of carbohydrates through denitrification, dissimilatory NH4+ production, Fe(III) reduction, fermentation, acetogenesis, and SO42– reduction. It was combined with a model that thermodynamically describes acid–base, reduction–oxidation and complexation reactions in solution, and kinetic precipitation and dissolution. Batch incubations were done on a Calcic Cambisol, either without amendment, or after supplying (i) glucose or (ii) glucose and NO3–. Gases, mineral cations and anions, glucose, fatty acids and alcohols were measured during incubation. Net production of CO2 was similar for both glucose treatments, about 40 times larger than in the control. For the glucose treatments, the main microbial activities were fermentation, acetogenic transformation of ethanol, and oxidation of H2. When the soil was enriched with NO3–, no H2 was produced, and microbial activities were rapidly inhibited by NO2–. The model shows these trends as well as geochemical characteristics including pH and reduction–oxidation potential.
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