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Technique for Measuring (14)CO(2) Uptake by Soil Microorganisms In Situ

By David W. Smith, Carl B. Fliermans and Thomas D. Brock


Uptake of (14)CO(2) in soils due to algae or sulfur-oxidizing bacteria was examined by incubation of soil samples with gaseous (14)CO(2) and subsequent chemical oxidation of biologically fixed radioactive isotope to (14)CO(2) for detection with a liquid scintillation counting system. The (14)CO(2) was added to the soil in the gas phase so that no alteration of the moisture or ionic strength of the soil occurred. Wet oxidation of radioactive organic matter was carried out in sealed ampoules, and the (14)CO(2) produced was transferred to a phenethylamine-liquid scintillation counting system with a simply constructed apparatus. The technique is inexpensive and efficient and does not require elaborate traps since several possible interfering factors were found to have no harmful effects. Experiments in coal mine regions and in geothermal habitats have demonstrated the ecological applicability of this technique for measurement of CO(2) fixation by sulfur-oxidizing bacteria and soil algae

Topics: Ecology and Taxonomy
Year: 1972
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Provided by: PubMed Central
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