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Title: Permafrost soils and carbon cycling

Knowledge of soils in the permafrost region has advanced immensely in recent decades, despite the remoteness and inaccessibility of most of the region and the sampling limitations posed by the severe environment. These efforts significantly increased estimates of the amount of organic carbon (OC) stored in permafrost-region soils and improved understanding of how pedogenic processes unique to permafrost environments built enormous OC stocks during the Quaternary. This knowledge has also called attention to the importance of permafrost-affected soils to the global C cycle and the potential vulnerability of the region's soil OC stocks to changing climatic conditions. In this review, we briefly introduce the permafrost characteristics, ice structures, and cryopedogenic processes that shape the development of permafrost-affected soils and discuss their effects on soil structures and on organic matter distributions within the soil profile. We then examine the quantity of OC stored in permafrost-region soils, as well as the characteristics, intrinsic decomposability, and potential vulnerability of this OC to permafrost thaw under a warming climate.
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Published Article
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SOIL Discussions
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 1; Journal Issue: 1; Journal ID: ISSN 2199-3998
Copernicus GmbH
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