The authors carried out controlled incubation experiments at 10°C on 10×10 cm peat soil cores collected from six UK sites across a sulphur deposition gradient. Their aim was to quantify the balance between microbial consumption and chemical precipitation of DOC due to episodic acidification driven by sulphur redox reactions by comparing changes in soil water chemistry to microbial activity (i.e. soil respiration and trace gas fluxes). During dry periods, all sites showed a concurrent increase in SO4 and soil respiration and a decline in DOC. However, the magnitude of change in both DOC and SO4 varied considerably between sites according to historical sulphur deposition loads and the variation in acid/base chemistry.
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