Microbial Transformation of Sulfate in Forest Soils

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Science  13 Jan 1984:
Vol. 223, Issue 4632, pp. 182-184
DOI: 10.1126/science.223.4632.182


Incubation of forest soils containing sulfate labeled with sulfur-35 showed rapid conversion of the added sulfate to organic sulfur forms by microbial populations. Activity rates were highest in the forest floor, but significant activity was observed throughout the soil profile. The annual potential sulfur incorporation for forest floor and soil combined is estimated to be 30 kilograms per hectare. The metabolism of inorganic sulfate to organic forms can be a major process in the sulfur cycle, influencing sulfate accumulation and mobility in forest ecosystems.

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