Persistence of soil organic matter as an ecosystem property

@article{Schmidt2011PersistenceOS,
  title={Persistence of soil organic matter as an ecosystem property},
  author={Michael W. I. Schmidt and Margaret S. Torn and Samuel Abiven and Thorsten Dittmar and Georg Guggenberger and Ivan A. Janssens and Markus Kleber and Ingrid K{\"o}gel‐Knabner and Johannes Lehmann and David A. C. Manning and Paolo Nannipieri and Daniel P. Rasse and Steve Weiner and Susan E. Trumbore},
  journal={Nature},
  year={2011},
  volume={478},
  pages={49-56}
}
Globally, soil organic matter (SOM) contains more than three times as much carbon as either the atmosphere or terrestrial vegetation. Yet it remains largely unknown why some SOM persists for millennia whereas other SOM decomposes readily—and this limits our ability to predict how soils will respond to climate change. Recent analytical and experimental advances have demonstrated that molecular structure alone does not control SOM stability: in fact, environmental and biological controls… 
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TLDR
This analysis suggests root inputs are approximately five times more likely than an equivalent mass of aboveground litter to be stabilized as SOM, and that fungi and bacteria, and soil faunal food webs, and mineral associations drive stabilization at depths greater than ∼30 cm.
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Globally, land use change and management have declined soil organic carbon (SOC), thus emitting more CO2 contributing to global warming. Here we review factors that control the fate of soil organic
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TLDR
It is argued that the available evidence does not support the formation of large-molecular-size and persistent ‘humic substances’ in soils, and instead soil organic matter is a continuum of progressively decomposing organic compounds.
Soil Carbon
Soil organic matter (OM) is a pervasive material composed of carbon (C) and other elements. It includes the O horizon (e.g., litter and duff), senesced plant materials within the mineral soil matrix,
Soil organic matter turnover is governed by accessibility not recalcitrance
Mechanisms to mitigate global climate change by sequestering carbon (C) in different ‘sinks' have been proposed as at least temporary measures. Of the major global C pools, terrestrial ecosystems
Soil fauna: key to new carbon models
Soil organic matter (SOM) is key to maintaining soil fertility, mitigating climate change, combatting land degradation, and conserving above- and below-ground biodiversity and associated soil
Warming enhances old organic carbon decomposition through altering functional microbial communities
TLDR
It is shown that warming significantly increased SOM decomposition in subsoil and microbial communities in warmed soils possessed a higher relative abundance of key functional genes involved in the degradation of organic materials with varying recalcitrance than those in control soils.
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