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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 properties and dynamics of C in deep soils was largely ignored. The aim of this review is to synthesize... Full description

Journal Title: Plant and soil 2011-01-01, Vol.338 (1/2), p.143-158
Main Author: Rumpel, Cornelia
Other Authors: Kogel-Knabner, Ingrid
Format: Electronic Article Electronic Article
Language: English
Subjects:
Publisher: Dordrecht: Springer
ID: ISSN: 0032-079X
Link: http://pascal-francis.inist.fr/vibad/index.php?action=getRecordDetail&idt=23791458
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title: Deep soil organic matter—a key but poorly understood component of terrestrial C cycle
format: Article
creator:
  • Rumpel, Cornelia
  • Kogel-Knabner, Ingrid
subjects:
  • Acid soils
  • Agricultural soils
  • Agronomy. Soil science and plant productions
  • Animal, plant and microbial ecology
  • Biological and medical sciences
  • Biomass
  • Biomedical and Life Sciences
  • Carbon cycle
  • Chemical, physicochemical, biochemical and biological properties
  • Decomposition
  • Ecology
  • Forest soils
  • Fundamental and applied biological sciences. Psychology
  • General agronomy. Plant production
  • Grassland soils
  • Life Sciences
  • Organic matter
  • Organic soils
  • Physics, chemistry, biochemistry and biology of agricultural and forest soils
  • Plant Physiology
  • Plant Sciences
  • Regular Article
  • Soil biochemistry
  • Soil horizons
  • Soil microbiology
  • Soil microorganisms
  • Soil organic carbon
  • Soil organic matter
  • Soil science
  • Soil Science & Conservation
  • Soil sciences
  • Soil structure
  • Soil-plant relationships. Soil fertility
  • Soil-plant relationships. Soil fertility. Fertilization. Amendments
  • Subsoil
ispartof: Plant and soil, 2011-01-01, Vol.338 (1/2), p.143-158
description: 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 properties and dynamics of C in deep soils was largely ignored. The aim of this review is to synthesize literature concerning the sources, composition, mechanisms of stabilisation and destabilization of soil organic matter (SOM) stored in subsoil horizons. Organic C input into subsoils occurs in dissolved form (DOC) following preferential flow pathways, as aboveground or root litter and exudates along root channels and/or through bioturbation. The relative importance of these inputs for subsoil C distribution and dynamics still needs to be evaluated. Generally, C in deep soil horizons is characterized by high mean residence times of up to several thousand years. With few exceptions, the carbon-to-nitrogen (C/N) ratio is decreasing with soil depth, while the stable C and N isotope ratios of SOM are increasing, indicating that organic matter (OM) in deep soil horizons is highly processed. Several studies suggest that SOM in subsoils is enriched in microbial-derived C compounds and depleted in energy-rich plant material compared to topsoil SOM. However, the chemical composition of SOM in subsoils is soil-type specific and greatly influenced by pedological processes. Interaction with the mineral phase, in particular amorphous iron (Fe) and aluminum (Al) oxides was reported to be the main stabilization mechanism in acid and near neutral soils. In addition, occlusion within soil aggregates has been identified to account for a great proportion of SOM preserved in subsoils. Laboratory studies have shown that the decomposition of subsoil C with high residence times could be stimulated by addition of labile C. Other mechanisms leading to destabilisation of SOM in subsoils include disruption of the physical structure and nutrient supply to soil microorganisms. One of the most important factors leading to protection of SOM in subsoils may be the spatial separation of SOM, microorganisms and extracellular enzyme activity possibly related to the heterogeneity of C input. As a result of the different processes, stabilized SOM in subsoils is horizontally stratified. In order to better understand deep SOM dynamics and to include them into soil C models, quantitative information about C fluxes resulting from C input, stabilization and destabilization processes at the field scale ar
language: eng
source:
identifier: ISSN: 0032-079X
fulltext: no_fulltext
issn:
  • 0032-079X
  • 1573-5036
url: Link


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titleDeep soil organic matter—a key but poorly understood component of terrestrial C cycle
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descriptionDespite 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 properties and dynamics of C in deep soils was largely ignored. The aim of this review is to synthesize literature concerning the sources, composition, mechanisms of stabilisation and destabilization of soil organic matter (SOM) stored in subsoil horizons. Organic C input into subsoils occurs in dissolved form (DOC) following preferential flow pathways, as aboveground or root litter and exudates along root channels and/or through bioturbation. The relative importance of these inputs for subsoil C distribution and dynamics still needs to be evaluated. Generally, C in deep soil horizons is characterized by high mean residence times of up to several thousand years. With few exceptions, the carbon-to-nitrogen (C/N) ratio is decreasing with soil depth, while the stable C and N isotope ratios of SOM are increasing, indicating that organic matter (OM) in deep soil horizons is highly processed. Several studies suggest that SOM in subsoils is enriched in microbial-derived C compounds and depleted in energy-rich plant material compared to topsoil SOM. However, the chemical composition of SOM in subsoils is soil-type specific and greatly influenced by pedological processes. Interaction with the mineral phase, in particular amorphous iron (Fe) and aluminum (Al) oxides was reported to be the main stabilization mechanism in acid and near neutral soils. In addition, occlusion within soil aggregates has been identified to account for a great proportion of SOM preserved in subsoils. Laboratory studies have shown that the decomposition of subsoil C with high residence times could be stimulated by addition of labile C. Other mechanisms leading to destabilisation of SOM in subsoils include disruption of the physical structure and nutrient supply to soil microorganisms. One of the most important factors leading to protection of SOM in subsoils may be the spatial separation of SOM, microorganisms and extracellular enzyme activity possibly related to the heterogeneity of C input. As a result of the different processes, stabilized SOM in subsoils is horizontally stratified. In order to better understand deep SOM dynamics and to include them into soil C models, quantitative information about C fluxes resulting from C input, stabilization and destabilization processes at the field scale are necessary.
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subjectAcid soils ; Agricultural soils ; Agronomy. Soil science and plant productions ; Animal, plant and microbial ecology ; Biological and medical sciences ; Biomass ; Biomedical and Life Sciences ; Carbon cycle ; Chemical, physicochemical, biochemical and biological properties ; Decomposition ; Ecology ; Forest soils ; Fundamental and applied biological sciences. Psychology ; General agronomy. Plant production ; Grassland soils ; Life Sciences ; Organic matter ; Organic soils ; Physics, chemistry, biochemistry and biology of agricultural and forest soils ; Plant Physiology ; Plant Sciences ; Regular Article ; Soil biochemistry ; Soil horizons ; Soil microbiology ; Soil microorganisms ; Soil organic carbon ; Soil organic matter ; Soil science ; Soil Science & Conservation ; Soil sciences ; Soil structure ; Soil-plant relationships. Soil fertility ; Soil-plant relationships. Soil fertility. Fertilization. Amendments ; Subsoil
ispartofPlant and soil, 2011-01-01, Vol.338 (1/2), p.143-158
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descriptionDespite 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 properties and dynamics of C in deep soils was largely ignored. The aim of this review is to synthesize literature concerning the sources, composition, mechanisms of stabilisation and destabilization of soil organic matter (SOM) stored in subsoil horizons. Organic C input into subsoils occurs in dissolved form (DOC) following preferential flow pathways, as aboveground or root litter and exudates along root channels and/or through bioturbation. The relative importance of these inputs for subsoil C distribution and dynamics still needs to be evaluated. Generally, C in deep soil horizons is characterized by high mean residence times of up to several thousand years. With few exceptions, the carbon-to-nitrogen (C/N) ratio is decreasing with soil depth, while the stable C and N isotope ratios of SOM are increasing, indicating that organic matter (OM) in deep soil horizons is highly processed. Several studies suggest that SOM in subsoils is enriched in microbial-derived C compounds and depleted in energy-rich plant material compared to topsoil SOM. However, the chemical composition of SOM in subsoils is soil-type specific and greatly influenced by pedological processes. Interaction with the mineral phase, in particular amorphous iron (Fe) and aluminum (Al) oxides was reported to be the main stabilization mechanism in acid and near neutral soils. In addition, occlusion within soil aggregates has been identified to account for a great proportion of SOM preserved in subsoils. Laboratory studies have shown that the decomposition of subsoil C with high residence times could be stimulated by addition of labile C. Other mechanisms leading to destabilisation of SOM in subsoils include disruption of the physical structure and nutrient supply to soil microorganisms. One of the most important factors leading to protection of SOM in subsoils may be the spatial separation of SOM, microorganisms and extracellular enzyme activity possibly related to the heterogeneity of C input. As a result of the different processes, stabilized SOM in subsoils is horizontally stratified. In order to better understand deep SOM dynamics and to include them into soil C models, quantitative information about C fluxes resulting from C input, stabilization and destabilization processes at the field scale are necessary.
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0Acid soils
1Agricultural soils
2Agronomy. Soil science and plant productions
3Animal, plant and microbial ecology
4Biological and medical sciences
5Biomass
6Biomedical and Life Sciences
7Carbon cycle
8Chemical, physicochemical, biochemical and biological properties
9Decomposition
10Ecology
11Forest soils
12Fundamental and applied biological sciences. Psychology
13General agronomy. Plant production
14Grassland soils
15Life Sciences
16Organic matter
17Organic soils
18Physics, chemistry, biochemistry and biology of agricultural and forest soils
19Plant Physiology
20Plant Sciences
21Regular Article
22Soil biochemistry
23Soil horizons
24Soil microbiology
25Soil microorganisms
26Soil organic carbon
27Soil organic matter
28Soil science
29Soil Science & Conservation
30Soil sciences
31Soil structure
32Soil-plant relationships. Soil fertility
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abstractDespite 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 properties and dynamics of C in deep soils was largely ignored. The aim of this review is to synthesize literature concerning the sources, composition, mechanisms of stabilisation and destabilization of soil organic matter (SOM) stored in subsoil horizons. Organic C input into subsoils occurs in dissolved form (DOC) following preferential flow pathways, as aboveground or root litter and exudates along root channels and/or through bioturbation. The relative importance of these inputs for subsoil C distribution and dynamics still needs to be evaluated. Generally, C in deep soil horizons is characterized by high mean residence times of up to several thousand years. With few exceptions, the carbon-to-nitrogen (C/N) ratio is decreasing with soil depth, while the stable C and N isotope ratios of SOM are increasing, indicating that organic matter (OM) in deep soil horizons is highly processed. Several studies suggest that SOM in subsoils is enriched in microbial-derived C compounds and depleted in energy-rich plant material compared to topsoil SOM. However, the chemical composition of SOM in subsoils is soil-type specific and greatly influenced by pedological processes. Interaction with the mineral phase, in particular amorphous iron (Fe) and aluminum (Al) oxides was reported to be the main stabilization mechanism in acid and near neutral soils. In addition, occlusion within soil aggregates has been identified to account for a great proportion of SOM preserved in subsoils. Laboratory studies have shown that the decomposition of subsoil C with high residence times could be stimulated by addition of labile C. Other mechanisms leading to destabilisation of SOM in subsoils include disruption of the physical structure and nutrient supply to soil microorganisms. One of the most important factors leading to protection of SOM in subsoils may be the spatial separation of SOM, microorganisms and extracellular enzyme activity possibly related to the heterogeneity of C input. As a result of the different processes, stabilized SOM in subsoils is horizontally stratified. In order to better understand deep SOM dynamics and to include them into soil C models, quantitative information about C fluxes resulting from C input, stabilization and destabilization processes at the field scale are necessary.
copDordrecht
pubSpringer
doi10.1007/s11104-010-0391-5