Persistence of soil organic matter as an ecosystem property

  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},
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… 
Abiotic and Biotic Controls on Soil Organo–Mineral Interactions: Developing Model Structures to Analyze Why Soil Organic Matter Persists
Soil organic matter (SOM) represents the single largest actively cycling reservoir of terrestrial organic carbon, accounting for more than three times as much carbon as that present in the atmosphere
Persistence of soil organic matter and soil structure
The persistence of soil organic matter (SOM) can be defined as resistance against biological decomposition, expressed as residence time in soils. Under this aspect, two types of SOM can be
Options for Soil Organic Matter Fractionation in Tropical Soils
Soil organic matter (SOM) plays an important role in maintaining the productivity of tropical soils. An estimated 70% of the terrestrial C stocks that participate in the atmospheric C cycle are
The Ecology of Soil Carbon: Pools, Vulnerabilities, and Biotic and Abiotic Controls
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.
Physical and Biological Processes Controlling Soil C Dynamics
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
The contentious nature of soil organic matter
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
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.


What is recalcitrant soil organic matter
Environmental context.On a global scale, soils store more carbon than plants or the atmosphere. The cycling of this vast reservoir of reduced carbon is closely tied to variations in environmental
Stabilization and destabilization of soil organic matter—a new focus
Interest in soil organic matter (SOM) is ramping up as concern mounts about steadily increasing levels of atmospheric CO2. There are two reasons for this. First, there is hope that improvements in
Deep soil organic matter—a key but poorly understood component of terrestrial C cycle
Despite their low carbon (C) content, most subsoil horizons contribute to more than half of the total soil C stocks, and therefore need to be considered in the global C cycle. Until recently, the
The turnover of organic carbon and nitrogen in soil.
Although the decomposition of plant material in soil is an extremely complex process, relatively simple models can give good fits to the decay process. Thus a two-compartment model gives a close
Temperature sensitivity of soil organic matter decomposition—what do we know?
Soil organic matter (SOM) represents one of the largest reservoirs of carbon on the global scale. Thus, the temperature sensitivity of bulk SOM and of different SOM fractions is a key factor
Is soil carbon mostly root carbon? Mechanisms for a specific stabilisation
Understanding the origin of the carbon (C) stabilised in soils is crucial in order to device management practices that will foster Caccumulation in soils. The relative contributions to soilC pools of
Mineral control of soil organic carbon storage and turnover
A large source of uncertainty in present understanding of the global carbon cycle is the distribution and dynamics of the soil organic carbon reservoir. Most of the organic carbon in soils is
Temperature sensitivity of soil carbon decomposition and feedbacks to climate change
This work has suggested that several environmental constraints obscure the intrinsic temperature sensitivity of substrate decomposition, causing lower observed ‘apparent’ temperature sensitivity, and these constraints may, themselves, be sensitive to climate.