Influence of extractants and filter materials in the extraction of dissolved organic matter (DOM) from subtropical agricultural soil
The dissolved organic matter (DOM) plays an important role in ecological processes in agricultural ecosystems. However, composition of DOM extracted by different methods remains unclear. In this study, pyrolysis–gas-chromatography/mass spectrometry (Py-GCMS) was used to investigate the content and chemical composition of DOM extracted by aqueous K2SO4 or H2O and filter paper (FP) or membrane (FM). The results showed that dissolved organic carbon (DOC) content extracted by K2SO4 was 0.83–11.2 times higher than that extracted by H2O, while it increased by 10.1–75.0% when filtered by FP compared to that filtered by FM. Compared with the H2O extract, the K2SO4 one contained lower proportions of aromatic compounds. The relative proportions of hydrophobic compounds in the K2SO4 extract (9.7–89.7%), were higher than in H2O one (2.6–63.5%), whereas the proportions of hydrophilic compounds exhibited the opposite trend (p<0.05). The content and complexity of the DOM extracted by the FP-K2SO4 method was higher than that obtained by FM-H2O one. Taken together, the K2SO4 and H2O extractants affected both the quantity and quality of DOM, whereas the FP and FM filter materials only influenced the DOC content (p<0.05). Consequently, effect of the extraction method on DOM properties should be considered when studying DOM composition and corresponding ecological processes.