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Discussion papers
https://doi.org/10.5194/soil-2016-9
© Author(s) 2016. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.
https://doi.org/10.5194/soil-2016-9
© Author(s) 2016. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.

Original research article 16 Feb 2016

Original research article | 16 Feb 2016

Review status
This discussion paper is a preprint. It has been under review for the journal SOIL (SOIL). The revised manuscript was not accepted.

Characterization of soil organic matter by near infrared spectroscopy – determination of glomalin in different soils

Jiří Zbíral, David Čižmár, Stanislav Malý, and Elena Obdržálková Jiří Zbíral et al.
  • Central Institute for Supervising and Testing in Agriculture, Brno, Czech Republic

Abstract. Determining and characterizing soil organic matter (SOM) cheaply and reliably can help to support decisions concerning sustainable land management and climate policy. Glomalin, a glycoprotein produced by arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi, was recommended as a promising indicator of SOM quality. But extracting glomalin from and determining glomalin in soils using classical chemical methods is too complicated and time consuming and therefore limits the use of this parameter in large scale surveys. Near infrared spectroscopy (NIRS) is a very rapid, non-destructive analytical technique that can be used to determine many constituents of soil organic matter.

Representative sets of 84 different soil samples from arable land and grasslands and 75 forest soils were used to develop reliable NIRS calibration models for glomalin. One calibration model was developed for samples with a low content of glomalin (arable land and grasslands), the second for soils with a high content of glomalin (forest soils), and the third calibration model for all combined soil samples. Calibrations were validated and optimized by leave-one-sample-out-cross-validation (LOSOCV) and by the external validation using eight soil samples (arable land and grassland), and six soil samples (forest soils) not included in the calibration models.

Two different calibration models were recommended. One model for arable and grassland soils and the second for forest soils. No statistically significant differences were found between the reference and the NIRS method for both calibration models. The parameters of the NIRS calibration model (RMSECV = 0,70 and R = 0,90 for soils from arable land and grasslands and RMSECV = 3,8 and R = 0,94 for forest soils) proved that glomalin can be determined directly in air-dried soils by NIRS with adequate trueness and precision.

Jiří Zbíral et al.
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AC: Author comment | RC: Referee comment | SC: Short comment | EC: Editor comment
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Jiří Zbíral et al.
Jiří Zbíral et al.
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Short summary
Characterizing soil organic matter (SOM) cheaply and reliably can help to support decisions concerning sustainable land management and climate policy. Glomalin is produced by arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi and it is a promising indicator of SOM quality. Determining glomalin in soils using classical chemical methods is too complicated and time consuming and therefore limits the use of this parameter in large scale surveys. Near infrared spectroscopy (NIRS) can solve this problem easily.
Characterizing soil organic matter (SOM) cheaply and reliably can help to support decisions...
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