Submitted to: Soil and Water Conservation Society
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 7/24/2004
Publication Date: 7/28/2004
Citation: Acosta Martinez, V., Kennedy, A.C., Zobeck, T.M. 2004. Enzyme activities and faty acids of dust as biological fingerprints of the soil source[abstract]. Soil and Water Conservation Society.
Technical Abstract: Particles with <10'm aerodynamic diameter (PM10) have been classified as a primary air pollutant by the United States Government. This PM10 can include soil organic fractions and impacts the quality of the soil upon loss due to wind erosion. Little, however, is known about the biochemical and biological characteristics of PM10 derived from soil and their similarities and differences to the original soil. The measurement of enzyme activities and fatty acid methyl esters (FAME) profiles of soil are simple procedures and reflect the management history and location of soils. Thus, these properties may hold potential to represent unique dust characteristics (tracers) to identify the source material. Dust from receptor filters located at two sites in Washington state and collected on a low-wind day had fingerprints closely related to soils from those two locations and were dissimilar from other WA soils. Dust generated from the Lubbock Dust Generation, Analyses and Sampling System has shown distinct enzyme activities according to the soil source and management history. Enzymes involved in cellulose degradation and phosphorus and sulfur transformations were detected in the PM10 generated from the soils. Soils with similar organic C and clay contents may have similar enzyme activities and thus, additional characteristics are needed to those studied here to obtain unique profiles. The addition of FAME profiles and enzyme activities profiles to the battery of tests performed on wind-blown material will provide better characterization of dust properties, and will expand our understanding of soil and air quality impacts related to wind erosion.