Microbial spatial footprint as a driver of soil carbon stabilization

Increasing the potential of soil to store carbon (C) is an acknowledged and emphasized strategy for capturing atmospheric CO2. Well-recognized approaches for soil C accretion include reducing soil disturbance, increasing plant biomass inputs, and enhancing plant diversity. Yet experimental evidence often fails to support anticipated C gains, suggesting that our integrated understanding of soil C accretion remains insufficient. Here we use a unique combination of X-ray micro-tomography and micro-scale enzyme mapping to demonstrate for the first time that plant-stimulated soil pore formation appears to be a major, hitherto unrecognized, determinant of whether new C inputs are stored or lost to the atmosphere. Unlike monocultures, diverse plant communities favor the development of 30–150 µm pores. Such pores are the micro-environments associated with higher enzyme activities, and greater abundance of such pores translates into a greater spatial footprint that microorganisms make on the soil and consequently soil C storage capacity. © 2019, The Author(s).

Kravchenko A.N.1, 2, 3 , Guber A.K.1, 2 , Razavi B.S.4 , Koestel J.5 , Quigley M.Y.1 , Robertson G.P.1, 2, 6 , Kuzyakov Y. 3, 7, 8
Nature Publishing Group
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  • 1 Department of Plant, Soil and Microbial Sciences, Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI 48824, United States
  • 2 DOE Great Lakes Bioenergy Research Center, Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI, United States
  • 3 Department of Agricultural Soil Science, University of Göttingen, Göttingen, Germany
  • 4 Department of Soil and Plant Microbiome, Institute of Phytopathology, Christian-Albrecht-University of Kiel, Kiel, Germany
  • 5 Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Uppsala, Sweden
  • 6 W. K. Kellogg Biological Station, Michigan State University, Hickory Corners, MI 49060, United States
  • 7 Institute of Physicochemical and Biological Problems in Soil Science, Pushchino, 142290, Russian Federation
  • 8 RUDN University, Moscow, Russian Federation
Ключевые слова
acid phosphatase; beta glucosidase; cellulose 1,4 beta cellobiosidase; chlorophyll; cytosol aminopeptidase; hemicellulose; n acetyl beta glucosaminidase; xylan endo 1,3 beta xylosidase; accretion; carbon dioxide; carbon sequestration; microorganism; soil carbon; stabilization; Article; biodiversity; bioenergy; bulk density; carbon footprint; carbon storage; channel gating; community structure; community succession; controlled study; cropping system; environmental parameters; enzyme activity; gravimetry; image processing; micro-computed tomography; microbial biomass; microbial community; microbial diversity; monoculture; nonhuman; Panicum virgatum; particulate matter; plant community; plant leaf; pore size; porosity; productivity; soil analysis; soil fertility; soil moisture; soil pollution; soil pore; soil water content; species diversity; symbiosis; vegetation; x-ray computed tomography; zymography
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