Original paper

Chronosequential alterations in soil organic matter during initial development of coastal salt marsh soils at the southern North Sea

Hulisz, Piotr; Gonet, Sławomir S.; Giani, Luise; Markiewicz, Maciej

Abstract

This study was conducted in the coastal zone located in Cäciliengroden, Jadebusen Bay (North Germany). The aim was to examine the changes in organic matter properties along a salt marsh soil chronosequence. Three soil profiles were located in low, middlehigh and high marsh zones, between the mud flat tidal area and the dike. We propose a patternof spatial changes in properties of salt marsh soils along the studied chronosequence.The results lead to the conclusion that some organic matter properties (C:N, humic to fulvic acid ratios and aromaticity of the humic acids) are good indicators for the extent of development of the studied soils. The lowest values of those indices, typical for aquatic sediments, were related to the initial soils (low marsh) while the highest values were recorded for semimature soils (high marsh).

Keywords

13c nmrhumic acidssalt marshessoil formationsoil organic matter