Effects of artificial aeration and iron inputs on the transformation of carbon and phosphorus in a typical wetland soil

  • Linlin Zhang
  • Ze Tang
  • Sijian Zhang
  • Xueying Jia
  • Xiaofei Yu
  • Guangzhi Sun
  • Yuanchun Zou
Soils, Sec 3 • Remediation and Management of Contaminated or Degraded Lands • Research Article



Artificial aeration changes the redox conditions at the soil surface. The introduction of iron (Fe) into wetlands can influence carbon (C) and phosphorus (P) cycling under the fluctuating redox conditions. However, artificial Fe introduced into wetlands is uncommon, and there are no Fe dose guidelines. We compared aerobic and anaerobic conditions to test the hypothesis that Fe addition can, although redox-dependent, affect P forms and the coupling of organic C.

Materials and methods

Twenty-four intact soil cores were collected randomly from a lacustrine wetland of Lake Xiaoxingkai. And representative and homogeneous seedlings of Glyceria spiculosa were collected. The incubation was designed with two treatment factors: Fe/P ratio (5 or 10) and high and low dissolved oxygen (DO) concentrations (> 6 and < 2 mg L−1, respectively). Four groups with three replicates were separated randomly and labeled as aerobic + plant treatment, anaerobic + plant treatment, and aerobic or anaerobic treatment (control).

Results and discussion

The DO concentrations were stratified, decreasing with soil depth and increasing with time, especially under aerobic conditions. The Eh values generally increased with fluctuations under aerobic conditions. The artificial aeration substantially changed the redox environment at the water–soil interface. Of the total P, 45% was in the reactive Fe-bound P, indicating that Lake Xiaoxingkai had high internal P loading. No significant differences were observed in total Fe, amorphous Fe, and organic C at the soil surface between the two Fe/P ratios; however, a significant difference in free Fe was observed. And soil amorphous Fe was found to be a significant correlation with soil organic C, indicating that iron oxides were related with the soil chemical properties.


After short-term incubation, Fe addition can affect the cycling of major elements in wetlands, although this effect is redox dependent. Excessive Fe doses may result in regional environmental risks, such as eutrophication and C sinks of wetland ecosystems. Large-scale controlled experiments are needed to fully understand the behaviors of soil elements in wetlands.


Artificial aeration Chemical elements Fe/P concentration ratios Wetland soil 



This research was supported by the National Key Research and Development Program of China (2016YFC0500408), the National Natural Science Foundation of China (41271107, 41471079), and the Northeast Institute of Geography and Agroecology, CAS (IGA-135-05). And we would like to thank LetPub ( for providing linguistic assistance during the preparation of this manuscript.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Key Laboratory of Wetland Ecology and Environment & Jilin Provincial Joint Key Laboratory of Changbai Mountain Wetland and Ecology, Northeast Institute of Geography and AgroecologyChinese Academy of SciencesChangchunChina
  2. 2.Key Laboratory of Land Surface Pattern and SimulationInstitute of Geographic Sciences and Natural Resources Research, CASBeijingChina
  3. 3.University of Chinese Academy of SciencesBeijingChina
  4. 4.Key Laboratory of Ecosystem Network Observation and ModelingInstitute of Geographic Sciences and Natural Resources Research, CASBeijingChina
  5. 5.School of EngineeringEdith Cowan UniversityJoondalupAustralia

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