After open coal mining, soils are “constructed”, which usually contain low levels and quality of organic matter (OM). Therefore, the use of plant species for revegetation and reclamation of degraded areas is essential. This study evaluated the distribution of carbon (C) in the chemical fractions as well as the chemical characteristics and humification degree of OM in a soil constructed after coal mining under cultivation of perennial grasses. The experiment was established in 2003 with the following treatments: Hemarthria altissima (T1), Paspalum notatum (T2), Cynodon dactilon (T3), Urochloa brizantha (T4), bare constructed soil (T5), and natural soil (T6). In 2009, soil samples were collected from the 0.00-0.03 m layer and the total organic carbon stock (TOC) and C stock in the chemical fractions: acid extract (CHCl), fulvic acid (CFA), humic acid (CHA), and humin (CHU) were determined. The humic acid (HA) fraction was characterized by infrared spectroscopy and the laser-induced fluorescence index (ILIF) of OM was also calculated. After six years, differences were only observed in the CHA stocks, which were highest in T1 (0.89 Mg ha-1) and T4 (1.06 Mg ha-1). The infrared spectra of HA in T1, T2 and T4 were similar to T6, with greater contribution of aliphatic organic compounds than in the other treatments. In this way, ILIF decreased in the sequence T5>T3>T4>T1>T2>T6, indicating higher OM humification in T3 and T5 and more labile OM in the other treatments. Consequently, the potential of OM quality recovery in the constructed soil was greatest in treatments T1 and T4.
humic fractions; infrared; laser-induced fluorescence; perennial grasses