The outsized role of soil microbes
Many complexities of the carbon sequestration process remain poorly understood, despite years of research and the significant impact of this process on global climate.
Now, three scientists, including EVS senior terrestrial ecologist Julie Jastrow, have proposed a new approach to better understand the role of soil organic matter in long-term carbon storage and its response to changes in global climate and atmospheric chemistry. The trio published their ideas in a recent Nature Microbiology article.
“Soil organic matter specialists long believed that remnants of decayed plant matter were the principal components of stabilized soil carbon,” said Chao Liang from the Institute of Applied Ecology of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, lead author of the Nature Microbiology article and a former postdoctoral scientist at Argonne. “But evolving analytical approaches have led researchers to shift toward the view that dead microbial biomass and other microbial residues could contribute even more significantly to stable carbon pools.”
Read the full article by Argonne's Steve Koppes.