Ecosystem Composition Controls the Fate of Rare Earth Elements during Incipient Soil Genesis

Dragos G. Zaharescu, Carmen I. Burghelea, Katerina Dontsova, Jennifer K. Presler, Raina M. Maier, Travis Huxman, Kenneth J. Domanik, Edward A. Hunt, Mary K. Amistadi, Emily E. Gaddis, Maria A. Palacios-Menendez, Maria O. Vaquera-Ibarra, Jon Chorover

Research output: Research - peer-reviewArticle

Abstract

The rare earth elements (REE) are increasingly important in a variety of science and economic fields, including (bio)geosciences, paleoecology, astrobiology, and mining. However, REE distribution in early rock-microbe-plant systems has remained elusive. We tested the hypothesis that REE mass-partitioning during incipient weathering of basalt, rhyolite, granite and schist depends on the activity of microbes, vascular plants (Buffalo grass), and arbuscular mycorrhiza. Pore-water element abundances revealed a rapid transition from abiotic to biotic signatures of weathering, the latter associated with smaller aqueous loss and larger plant uptake. Abiotic dissolution was 39% of total denudation in plant-microbes-mycorrhiza treatment. Microbes incremented denudation, particularly in rhyolite, and this resulted in decreased bioavailable solid pools in this rock. Total mobilization (aqueous + uptake) was ten times greater in planted compared to abiotic treatments, REE masses in plant generally exceeding those in water. Larger plants increased bioavailable solid pools, consistent with enhanced soil genesis. Mycorrhiza generally had a positive effect on total mobilization. The main mechanism behind incipient REE weathering was carbonation enhanced by biotic respiration, the denudation patterns being largely dictated by mineralogy. A consistent biotic signature was observed in La:phosphate and mobilization: solid pool ratios, and in the pattern of denudation and uptake.

LanguageEnglish (US)
Article number43208
JournalScientific Reports
Volume7
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 23 2017

Fingerprint

rare earth element
ecosystem
soil
denudation
mobilization
weathering
mycorrhiza
rhyolite
rock
arbuscular mycorrhiza
paleoecology
vascular plant
schist
porewater
mineralogy
respiration
partitioning
granite
basalt
dissolution

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General

Cite this

Ecosystem Composition Controls the Fate of Rare Earth Elements during Incipient Soil Genesis. / Zaharescu, Dragos G.; Burghelea, Carmen I.; Dontsova, Katerina; Presler, Jennifer K.; Maier, Raina M.; Huxman, Travis; Domanik, Kenneth J.; Hunt, Edward A.; Amistadi, Mary K.; Gaddis, Emily E.; Palacios-Menendez, Maria A.; Vaquera-Ibarra, Maria O.; Chorover, Jon.

In: Scientific Reports, Vol. 7, 43208, 23.02.2017.

Research output: Research - peer-reviewArticle

Zaharescu, DG, Burghelea, CI, Dontsova, K, Presler, JK, Maier, RM, Huxman, T, Domanik, KJ, Hunt, EA, Amistadi, MK, Gaddis, EE, Palacios-Menendez, MA, Vaquera-Ibarra, MO & Chorover, J 2017, 'Ecosystem Composition Controls the Fate of Rare Earth Elements during Incipient Soil Genesis' Scientific Reports, vol 7, 43208. DOI: 10.1038/srep43208
Zaharescu DG, Burghelea CI, Dontsova K, Presler JK, Maier RM, Huxman T et al. Ecosystem Composition Controls the Fate of Rare Earth Elements during Incipient Soil Genesis. Scientific Reports. 2017 Feb 23;7. 43208. Available from, DOI: 10.1038/srep43208
Zaharescu, Dragos G. ; Burghelea, Carmen I. ; Dontsova, Katerina ; Presler, Jennifer K. ; Maier, Raina M. ; Huxman, Travis ; Domanik, Kenneth J. ; Hunt, Edward A. ; Amistadi, Mary K. ; Gaddis, Emily E. ; Palacios-Menendez, Maria A. ; Vaquera-Ibarra, Maria O. ; Chorover, Jon. / Ecosystem Composition Controls the Fate of Rare Earth Elements during Incipient Soil Genesis. In: Scientific Reports. 2017 ; Vol. 7.
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