Milling plant and soil material in plastic tubes over-estimates carbon and under-estimates nitrogen concentrations
Journal article, Preprint
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OriginalversjonPlant and soil 2013, 369:509-513 10.1007/s11104-013-1599-y
Background and aims Milling of plant and soil material in plastic tubes, such as microcentrifuge tubes, over-estimates carbon (C) and under-estimates nitrogen (N) concentrations due to the introduction of polypropylene into milled samples, as identified using Fourier-transform infra-red spectroscopy. Methods and results This study compares C and N concentrations of roots and soil milled in microcentrifuge tubes versus stainless steel containers, demonstrating that a longer milling time, greater milling intensity, smaller sample size and inclusion of abrasive sample material all increase polypropylene contamination from plastic tubes leading to overestimation of C concentrations by up to 8 % (0.08 g g−1).