The contentious nature of soil organic matter

  title={The contentious nature of soil organic matter},
  author={Johannes Lehmann and Markus Kleber},
The exchange of nutrients, energy and carbon between soil organic matter, the soil environment, aquatic systems and the atmosphere is important for agricultural productivity, water quality and climate. Long-standing theory suggests that soil organic matter is composed of inherently stable and chemically unique compounds. Here we argue that the available evidence does not support the formation of large-molecular-size and persistent ‘humic substances’ in soils. Instead, soil organic matter is a… 
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,
Particulate organic matter as a functional soil component for persistent soil organic carbon
This work conducts an incubation of isotopically labelled litter to study effects of soil structure on the fate of litter-derived organic matter, and extends the notion of plant litter from solely an easily available and labile carbon substrate to a functional component at which persistence of soil carbon is directly determined.
Climate, carbon content, and soil texture control the independent formation and persistence of particulate and mineral-associated organic matter in soil
Abstract Understanding the mechanisms controlling the formation and persistence of soil organic matter (SOM) is important for managing soil health and sustainable food production. The formation of
Organic nitrogen storage in mineral soil: Implications for policy and management.
This review examines for the first time the factors and mechanisms at each stage of movement into long-term storage that influence the sequestration of organic nitrogen in the mineral soil of natural temperate ecosystems.
Organic matter in the agricultural soils of Tasmania, Australia – A review
Abstract A review of both the living and non-living components of soil organic matter (SOM) in the agricultural soils of Tasmania, Australia, and the relationship of SOM to the functions of soil has
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
Soil organic matter and the problems of its investigation
Soil organic matter (SOM) is the largest reservoir of organic C in the biosphere, however its composition and structure remain uncertain. The role of humic substances as the main component of SOM is
Reviews and syntheses: The mechanisms underlying carbon storage in soil
Soil organic matter (OM) represents a key C pool for climate regulation but also an essential component for soil functions and services. Scientific research in the 21st century has considerably
Probing the nature of soil organic matter
Soil organic carbon management is a nature-based carbon dioxide removal technology at the same time contributing to soil health and agricultural productivity. The soil science communities are
Reviews and syntheses: The mechanisms underlying carbon storage in soil
Abstract. Soil organic matter (OM) represents a key C pool for climate regulation but also an essential component for soil functions and services. Scientific research in the 21st century has


Soil organic matter quality interpreted thermodynamically
Abstract Soil organic matter quality in the sense of how easily carbon in the soil organic matter can be mineralised is a major determinant of soil carbon storage and rate of mineralisation of
Persistence of soil organic matter as an ecosystem property
This work proposes ways to include understanding of why some SOM persists for millennia whereas other SOM decomposes readily in a new generation of experiments and soil carbon models, thereby improving predictions of the SOM response to global warming.
Soil organic matter dynamics: a biological perspective derived from the use of compound-specific isotopes studies
  • G. Gleixner
  • Environmental Science
    Ecological Research
  • 2012
Current attempts to explain the persistence of carbon in soils focuses on explanations such as the recalcitrant plant residues and the physical isolation of substrates from decomposers. A pool of
Solid-Phase Organic Matter Reduction Regulates Anaerobic Decomposition in Bog Soil
Peatlands store globally significant amounts of carbon and are important sources of the greenhouse gas methane (CH4) to the atmosphere. However, for reasons which are not well understood, many
HUmus Chemistry Genesis, Composition, Reactions
Partial table of contents: Organic Matter in Soils: Pools, Distribution, Transformations, and Function. Extraction, Fractionation, and General Chemical Composition of Soil Organic Matter. Organic
Potential responses of soil organic carbon to global environmental change.
  • S. Trumbore
  • Medicine, Environmental Science
    Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
  • 1997
The amount and turnover time of C in passive soil carbon pools (organic matter strongly stabilized on mineral surfaces with turnover times of millennia and longer) depend on factors like soil maturity and mineralogy, which, in turn, reflect long-term climate conditions.
Carbon Cycling: The Dynamics and Formation of Organic Matter
The chapter examines the global carbon cycle with an emphasis on soil organic matter (SOM). The most up-to-date information on its formation, structure, and function is presented. It is now
The knowns, known unknowns and unknowns of sequestration of soil organic carbon
Soil contains approximately 2344 Gt (1 gigaton = 1 billion tonnes) of organic carbon globally and is the largest terrestrial pool of organic carbon. Small changes in the soil organic carbon stock
Temperature response of litter and soil organic matter decomposition is determined by chemical composition of organic material.
The temperature response of soil decomposition processes can be described by the chemical composition of its constituent organic matter, this paves the way for improved ecosystem modeling of biosphere feedbacks under a changing climate.
Stabilization and destabilization of soil organic matter: mechanisms and controls
We present a conceptual model of the processes by which plant leaf and root litter is transformed to soil organic C and CO 2. Stabilization of a portion of the litter C yields material that resists