Decomposition of recalcitrant materials such as phenolics is known to play a pivotal role in organic matter decomposition and nutrient cycling in estuaries. The specific goals of this study were to determine temporal and spatial variations of phenol oxidase and phenolics in estuarine soils, and to elucidate controlling factors for phenol oxidase activity. To achieve these goals, phenol oxidase activity and phenolic content were measured in soils developed along the side of an estuary in the Han River, Korea. Soil samples were collected in three locations with different vegetation: mud flats, Zizania-dominated soils, and Salix-dominated soils. Monthly measurements were also made in a Zizania-dominated site over a year period. Phenol oxidase activity varied between 0.00 and 0.28 diqc min-1 g-1, whilst phenolic content ranged from 0.0-10.5 μg g-1. A correlation analysis revealed that phenol oxidase activity exhibited positive correlations with phenolic content in both seasonal and spatial data. The same relationship was found when the data were analysed separately for each site. Unlike peatlands or upland forest soils where negative correlations were often found between phenol oxidase activity and phenolics, substrate induction appears to account for the positive correlation in the present study.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
- Environmental Science(all)
- Earth and Planetary Sciences(all)