A passive sampling method for radiocarbon analysis of soil respiration using molecular sieve

Mark H. Garnett*, Iain P. Hartley, David W. Hopkins, Martin Sommerkorn, Philip A. Wookey

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Radiocarbon analysis of soil CO2 can provide information on the age, source and turnover rate of soil organic C. We developed a new method for passively trapping respired CO2 on molecular sieve, allowing it to be returned to the laboratory and recovered for C isotope analysis. We tested the method on a soil at a grassland site, and using a synthetic soil created to provide a contrasting isotopic signature. As with other passive sampling techniques, a small amount of fractionation of the 13C isotope occurs during sampling, which we have quantified, otherwise the results show that the molecular sieve traps a sufficiently large and representative sample of CO2 for C isotope analysis. Since 14C results are routinely corrected for mass-dependent fractionation, our results show that passive sampling of soil respiration using molecular sieve offers a reliable method to collect soil-respired CO2 for 14C analysis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1450-1456
Number of pages7
JournalSoil Biology and Biochemistry
Volume41
Issue number7
DOIs
Publication statusPrint publication - Jul 2009
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • CO
  • Molecular sieve
  • Radiocarbon
  • Soil respiration

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