Paré, M. C. and Bedard-Haughn, A. 2011. Optimum liquid density in separation of the physically uncomplexed organic matter in Arctic soils. Can. J. Soil Sci. 91: 65-68. Using an appropriate density to separate the soil light fraction (LF) and heavy fraction (HF) is an important aspect of the density fractionation technique. The effect of liquid density when separating the physically uncomplexed Arctic soil organic matter (SOM) was tested on three Arctic sites: High-Arctic, Low-Arctic, and Sub-Arctic. Our results showed that selecting the right density to use for Arctic soils is not unequivocal. Nevertheless, based on these two criteria: (1) the difference between the C:N values of the LF and HF needs to be as large as possible, and (2) the C:N value of the whole soil needs to be different from the C:N values of the LF and HF, the optimum density for all of our Arctic sites was between 1.49 and 1.55 g mL-1. We concluded that 1.55g mL-1 was the conservative optimum liquid density to use to separate Arctic SOM light and heavy fractions.
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