BIOGEOCHEMISTRY

Diving deep into soil's chlorine pool

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Science  12 Jun 2015:
Vol. 348, Issue 6240, pp. 1219
DOI: 10.1126/science.348.6240.1219-a

Soil chlorine inventories depend on the species of trees they host

PHOTO: © IMAGEBROKER/ALAMY

The density and type of trees in forested ecosystems control the large organic chlorine pool of soils. Chlorine is a trace nutrient for plant growth; however, its distribution is highly variable, even in instances where it was deposited regionally as chloride from the atmosphere. In an experimental forest ecosystem in eastern France, Montelius et al. show that tree species controlled total soil chlorine fluxes over 30 years. Coniferous trees, especially Norway spruce, retained organic chlorine and chloride ions in nearby soil more than deciduous trees. The preferential retention or transformation of certain chlorine compounds beyond microbial processes complicates the terrestrial chlorine cycle.

Environ. Sci. Technol. 49, 4921 (2015).

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