Factors involved in potential sulfur accumulation in litter and soil from a coastal pine forest

M. E. Watwood, J. W. Fitzgerald, W. T. Swank, E. R. Blood

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


Samples of 01/02, A1, E2 and Bh horizons collected from a coastal pine forest were assayed for the potential capacity to adsorb and to form organic sulfur from added sulfate. The subsequent mobilization (mineralization) of organic S was also assayed to determine potential capacities of the samples for organic S accumulation. Organic and inorganic forms of S were quantified, as were total carbon and nitrogen levels. Relationships between these parameters and the above S processing capacities for each sample were examined, and fluctuations were statistically analyzed. Of the organic S present, sulfonate-S (non-Raney Ni-reducible S) was found to be the major component irrespective of horizon. Adsorbed and soluble S were found to be low, suggesting that loss by leaching may be an important fate of incoming sulfate at this site. Results from this study were compared with those obtained for two additional sites, which have been examined in detail and documented previously to be S accumulating. Soils from the pine forest site adsorbed substantially less sulfate than those from the other two sites. The organic S accumulation capacity was relatively low for the pine site, averaging less than one third of the potential established for the other two sites.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3-19
Number of pages17
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1988


  • forest litter and soil
  • intrinsic S forms
  • potential organic S accumulation
  • sulfate adsorption

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Water Science and Technology
  • Earth-Surface Processes


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