Advances in Earth Science ›› 2007, Vol. 22 ›› Issue (2): 152-158. doi: 10.11867/j.issn.1001-8166.2007.02.0152

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Soil Biota on Soil Organic Carbon Stabilization

LIU Man-qiang, CHEN Xiao-yun , GUO Ju-hua, LI Hui-xin, HU Feng   

  1. Soil Ecology Laboratory, College of Resources and Environmental Sciences, Nanjing Agricultural University, Nanjing 210095,China
  • Received:2007-01-01 Revised:2007-01-01 Online:2007-02-10 Published:2007-02-10

LIU Man-qiang, CHEN Xiao-yun , GUO Ju-hua, LI Hui-xin, HU Feng. Soil Biota on Soil Organic Carbon Stabilization[J]. Advances in Earth Science, 2007, 22(2): 152-158.

Knowledge of soil organic carbon (SOC) stability is essential for understanding the changing global carbon cycle and developing strategies for mitigating the increasing greenhouse gas emission and global climate change. Current popular mechanisms for carbon stabilization mainly included (1) selective preservation due to recalcitrance of SOC, (2) spatial inaccessibility of SOC against decomposer organisms due to occlusion, intercalation, hydrophobicity and encapsulation, and (3) interaction with mineral surfaces and metal ions. Until now the mechanistic understanding of SOC stabilization are still not satisfying, especially for the roles of soil biota in the stabilization process. Therefore, first we explored specific functions of soil biota in SOC stabilization derived from the abovementioned mechanisms; Second we presented a conceptual  view that intrinsic nature of soil biota as well as coevolution between soil biota and habitat would influence SOC stability; Then the trade-off between value of SOC stabilization and profit of SOC decomposition were emphasized; Finally the promising research directions were listed in respect of soil biota in SOC stabilization, such as the roles of soil biota in (1) plant carbon and SOC resynthesis process, (2) the feedback loops between aboveground and belowground on SOC stability, (3) SOC stabilization under specific environmental and soil conditions, (4) SOC decomposition associated ecological service and SOC stabilization or storage under various soil managements, (5) SOC stabilization at different spatial and temporal scales. From the point of coevolution, the interactions between soil biota and SOC stability would be studied hierarchically, i.e. physiological characteristics of soil individual organism,life history of population, community and ecosystem properties.

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