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Title: The importance of anabolism in microbial control over soil carbon storage

Abstract

Studies of the decomposition, transformation and stabilization of soil organic matter (SOM) have dramatically increased in recent years owing to growing interest in studying the global carbon (C) cycle as it pertains to climate change. While it is readily accepted that the magnitude of the organic C reservoir in soils depends upon microbial involvement, as soil C dynamics are ultimately the consequence of microbial growth and activity, it remains largely unknown how these microorganism-mediated processes lead to soil C stabilization. Here, we define two pathways—ex vivo modification and in vivo turnover—which jointly explain soil C dynamics driven by microbial catabolism and/or anabolism. Accordingly, we use the conceptual framework of the soil ‘microbial carbon pump’ (MCP) to demonstrate how microorganisms are an active player in soil C storage. The MCP couples microbial production of a set of organic compounds to their further stabilization, which we define as the entombing effect. This integration captures the cumulative long-term legacy of microbial assimilation on SOM formation, with mechanisms (whether via physical protection or a lack of activation energy due to chemical composition) that ultimately enable the entombment of microbial-derived C in soils. We propose a need for increased efforts and seek to inspire newmore » studies that utilize the soil MCP as a conceptual guideline for improving mechanistic understandings of the contributions of soil C dynamics to the responses of the terrestrial C cycle under global change.« less

Authors:
; ;
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Argonne National Lab. (ANL), Argonne, IL (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS); National Natural Science Foundation of China (NNSFC); National Key Research and Development Program of China; USDOE Office of Science - Office of Biological and Environmental Research - Terrestrial Ecosystem Science
OSTI Identifier:
1376697
DOE Contract Number:  
AC02-06CH11357
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Journal Name:
Nature Microbiology
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 2; Journal Issue: 8; Journal ID: ISSN 2058-5276
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English

Citation Formats

Liang, Chao, Schimel, Joshua P., and Jastrow, Julie D. The importance of anabolism in microbial control over soil carbon storage. United States: N. p., 2017. Web. doi:10.1038/nmicrobiol.2017.105.
Liang, Chao, Schimel, Joshua P., & Jastrow, Julie D. The importance of anabolism in microbial control over soil carbon storage. United States. doi:10.1038/nmicrobiol.2017.105.
Liang, Chao, Schimel, Joshua P., and Jastrow, Julie D. Tue . "The importance of anabolism in microbial control over soil carbon storage". United States. doi:10.1038/nmicrobiol.2017.105.
@article{osti_1376697,
title = {The importance of anabolism in microbial control over soil carbon storage},
author = {Liang, Chao and Schimel, Joshua P. and Jastrow, Julie D.},
abstractNote = {Studies of the decomposition, transformation and stabilization of soil organic matter (SOM) have dramatically increased in recent years owing to growing interest in studying the global carbon (C) cycle as it pertains to climate change. While it is readily accepted that the magnitude of the organic C reservoir in soils depends upon microbial involvement, as soil C dynamics are ultimately the consequence of microbial growth and activity, it remains largely unknown how these microorganism-mediated processes lead to soil C stabilization. Here, we define two pathways—ex vivo modification and in vivo turnover—which jointly explain soil C dynamics driven by microbial catabolism and/or anabolism. Accordingly, we use the conceptual framework of the soil ‘microbial carbon pump’ (MCP) to demonstrate how microorganisms are an active player in soil C storage. The MCP couples microbial production of a set of organic compounds to their further stabilization, which we define as the entombing effect. This integration captures the cumulative long-term legacy of microbial assimilation on SOM formation, with mechanisms (whether via physical protection or a lack of activation energy due to chemical composition) that ultimately enable the entombment of microbial-derived C in soils. We propose a need for increased efforts and seek to inspire new studies that utilize the soil MCP as a conceptual guideline for improving mechanistic understandings of the contributions of soil C dynamics to the responses of the terrestrial C cycle under global change.},
doi = {10.1038/nmicrobiol.2017.105},
journal = {Nature Microbiology},
issn = {2058-5276},
number = 8,
volume = 2,
place = {United States},
year = {2017},
month = {7}
}

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