Low-molecular-mass organic acids (LMMOA) and their behaviour in forest soil are reviewed.
LMMOA are a part of the carbon cycle, and represent an important component of the active organic
carbon. Low-molecular-mass organic acids are being constantly released to soil from root exudates,
microbial activities, and organic matter decomposition. Other main sources include deposition
(atmospheric or throughfall). This review describes the origin of LMMOA in forest soils, and the methods
for determination of LMMOA in soil solution and for the storage of LMMOA samples. Methods of
LMMOA analysis are discussed in greater detail. Generally, one of the most promising methods for determination
and speciation of LMMOA seems to be IC-MS; HPLC is suitable method when strong extraction
reagent is used.
Keywords: Low molecular mass organic acids, forest soils, soil organic matter, labile carbon, ion chromatography, soil extraction.
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