Evaluating oxidation–reduction properties of dissolved organic matter from Chinese milk vetch ( Astragalus sinicus L.): a comprehensive multi-parametric study Academic Article uri icon


  • Green manuring is a common practice in replenishment of soil organic matter and nutrients in rice paddy field. Owing to the complex interplay of multiple factors, the oxidation--reduction (redox) properties of dissolved organic matter (DOM) from green manure crops are presently not fully understood. In this study, a variety of surrogate parameters were used to evaluate the redox capacity and redox state of DOM derived from Chinese milk vetch (CMV, Astragalus sinicus L.) via microbial decomposition under continuously flooded (CF) and non-flooded (NF) conditions. Additionally, the correlation between the surrogate parameters of CMV-DOM and the kinetic parameters of relevant redox reactions was evaluated in a soil-water system containing CMV-DOM. Results showed that the redox properties of CMV-DOM were substantially different between the fresh and decomposed CMV-DOM treatments. Determination of the surrogate parameters via ultraviolet-visible/Fourier transform infrared absorption spectroscopy and gel permeation chromatography generally provided high-quality data for predicting the redox capacity of CMV-DOM, while the surrogate parameters determined by elemental analysis were suitable for predicting the redox state of CMV-DOM. Depending on the redox capacity and redox state of various moieties/components, NF-decomposed CMV-DOM could easily accelerate soil reduction by shuttling electrons to iron oxides, because it contained more reversible redox-active functional groups (e.g. quinone and hydroquinone pairs) than CF-decomposed CMV-DOM. This work demonstrates that a single index cannot interpret complex changes in multiple factors that jointly determine the redox reactivity of CMV-DOM. Thus, a multi-parametric study is needed for providing comprehensive information on the redox properties of green manure DOM.


  • Liu, Yong
  • Lou, Jun
  • Li, Fang-Bai
  • Xu, Jian-Ming
  • Yu, Xiong-Sheng
  • Zhu, Li-An
  • Wang, Feng

publication date

  • August 3, 2014