Qualls, R.G. and B.L. Haines. 1990. The influence of humic substances on the aerobic decomposition of submerged leaf litter. Hydrobiologia 206:133-138.

Abstract. Leaf material was incubated in flasks containing streamwater in which the pH and the concentration of isolated fulvic acid were varied independently of one another. Decomposition of the leaf material was slower at pH 5or t, but the concentration of fulvic acid had no effect when the pH was held constant. At pH 5, 20 mg C l–1 humic acid also had no effect on decomposition. High concentrations of dissolved fulvic acids may contribute to the slow decomposition of plant litter characteristic of many wetlands through their contribution to hydrogen ion activity, but we could find no evidence for other properties of fulvic acid which inhibit leaf litter decomposition.

Key words: fulvic acid, litter decomposition, swamps, wetlands, acidity, humic

Reproduced with kind permission from Kluwer Academic Publishers

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