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Molecular signatures of soil-derived dissolved organic matter constrained by mineral weathering

  • Author(s): Wang, YH;
  • Zhang, P;
  • He, C;
  • Yu, JC;
  • Shi, Q;
  • Dahlgren, RA;
  • Spencer, RGM;
  • Yang, ZB;
  • Wang, JJ
  • et al.

Dissolved organic matter (DOM) in soils drives biogeochemical cycling and soil functions in different directions depending on its molecular signature. Notably, there is a distinct paucity of information concerning how the molecular signatures of soil DOM vary with different degrees of weathering across wide geographic scales. Herein, we resolved the DOM molecular signatures from 22 diverse Chinese reference soils and linked them with soil organic matter and weathering-related mineralogical properties. The mixed-effects models revealed that the yields of DOM were determined by soil organic carbon content, whereas the molecular signature of DOM was primarily constrained by the weathering-related dimension. The soil weathering index showed a positive effect on the lability and a negative effect on the aromaticity of DOM. Specifically, DOM in highly weathered acidic soils featured more amino sugars, carbohydrates, and aliphatics, as well as less O-rich polyphenols and condensed aromatics, thereby conferring a higher DOM biolability and lower DOM aromaticity. This study highlights the dominance of the weathering-related dimension in constraining the molecular signatures and potential functions of DOM in soils across a wide geographic scale.

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