Short-term changes in δ13C and δ15N signatures of water discharged from grazed grasslands

Kevin B. McTiernan, Stephen C. Jarvis, Debra Allen, Roland Bol

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Citations (SciVal)


The composition of dissolved organic matter (DOM) in a soil is the product of a variety of soil processes. Changes in the composition of DOM in water discharged from soil should, therefore, give an important insight into modifications in these soil processes. We hypothesise that these processes in soils, under different grassland management regimes, would be affected to different extents by the short-term disturbance of a storm event and that evidence of this could be detected in δ 13C and δ 15N signatures in drainage and surface runoff waters. During a storm event we collected discharge waters from 1 ha grassland lysimeters, with or without artificial drainage, which received contrasting fertiliser inputs, and δ 13C and δ 15N signatures were determined. Changes in 13C enrichment during the storm event were clearly identifiable, as were differences between plots for 13C and 15N, illustrating that this technique has potential to be a useful tool for identifying and investigating short- and long-term changes in soil organic matter dynamics.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1803-1807
Number of pages5
JournalRapid Communications in Mass Spectrometry
Issue number18
Publication statusPublished - 13 Sept 1999


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