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JournalISSN: 1351-0754

European Journal of Soil Science 

Wiley-Blackwell
About: European Journal of Soil Science is an academic journal published by Wiley-Blackwell. The journal publishes majorly in the area(s): Soil water & Organic matter. It has an ISSN identifier of 1351-0754. Over the lifetime, 4750 publications have been published receiving 243099 citations.


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Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: In this article, the effectiveness of various binding agents at different stages in the structural organization of aggregates is described and forms the basis of a model which illustrates the architecture of an aggregate.
Abstract: Summary The water-stability of aggregates in many soils is shown to depend on organic materials. The organic binding agents have been classified into (a) transient, mainly polysaccharides, (b), temporary, roots and fungal hyphae, and (c) persistent, resistant aromatic components associated with polyvalent metal cations, and strongly sorbed polymers. The effectiveness of various binding agents at different stages in the structural organization of aggregates is described and forms the basis of a model which illustrates the architecture of an aggregate. Roots and hyphae stabilize macro-aggregates, defined as > 250 μm diameter; consequently, macroaggregation is controlled by soil management (i.e. crop rotations), as management influences the growth of plant roots, and the oxidation of organic carbon. The water-stability of micro-aggregates depends on the persistent organic binding agents and appears to be a characteristic of the soil, independent of management.

5,389 citations

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: In this article, a discrepancy of approximately 350 × 1015 g (or Pg) of C in two recent estimates of soil carbon reserves worldwide is evaluated using the geo-referenced database developed for the World Inventory of Soil Emission Potentials (WISE) project.
Abstract: Summary The soil is important in sequestering atmospheric CO2 and in emitting trace gases (e.g. CO2, CH4 and N2O) that are radiatively active and enhance the ‘greenhouse’ effect. Land use changes and predicted global warming, through their effects on net primary productivity, the plant community and soil conditions, may have important effects on the size of the organic matter pool in the soil and directly affect the atmospheric concentration of these trace gases. A discrepancy of approximately 350 × 1015 g (or Pg) of C in two recent estimates of soil carbon reserves worldwide is evaluated using the geo-referenced database developed for the World Inventory of Soil Emission Potentials (WISE) project. This database holds 4353 soil profiles distributed globally which are considered to represent the soil units shown on a 1/2° latitude by 1/2° longitude version of the corrected and digitized 1:5 M FAO–UNESCO Soil Map of the World. Total soil carbon pools for the entire land area of the world, excluding carbon held in the litter layer and charcoal, amounts to 2157–2293 Pg of C in the upper 100 cm. Soil organic carbon is estimated to be 684–724 Pg of C in the upper 30 cm, 1462–1548 Pg of C in the upper 100 cm, and 2376–2456 Pg of C in the upper 200 cm. Although deforestation, changes in land use and predicted climate change can alter the amount of organic carbon held in the superficial soil layers rapidly, this is less so for the soil carbonate carbon. An estimated 695–748 Pg of carbonate-C is held in the upper 100 cm of the world's soils. Mean C: N ratios of soil organic matter range from 9.9 for arid Yermosols to 25.8 for Histosols. Global amounts of soil nitrogen are estimated to be 133–140 Pg of N for the upper 100 cm. Possible changes in soil organic carbon and nitrogen dynamics caused by increased concentrations of atmospheric CO2 and the predicted associated rise in temperature are discussed.

3,163 citations

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: In this article, a review of the mechanisms that are currently, but often contradictorily or inconsistently, considered to contribute to organic matter (OM) protection against decomposition in temperate soils is presented.
Abstract: Summary Mechanisms for C stabilization in soils have received much interest recently due to their relevance in the global C cycle. Here we review the mechanisms that are currently, but often contradictorily or inconsistently, considered to contribute to organic matter (OM) protection against decomposition in temperate soils: (i) selective preservation due to recalcitrance of OM, including plant litter, rhizodeposits, microbial products, humic polymers, and charred OM; (ii) spatial inaccessibility of OM against decomposer organisms due to occlusion, intercalation, hydrophobicity and encapsulation; and (iii) stabilization by interaction with mineral surfaces (Fe-, Al-, Mn-oxides, phyllosilicates) and metal ions. Our goal is to assess the relevance of these mechanisms to the formation of soil OM during different stages of decomposition and under different soil conditions. The view that OM stabilization is dominated by the selective preservation of recalcitrant organic components that accumulate in proportion to their chemical properties can no longer be accepted. In contrast, our analysis of mechanisms shows that: (i) the soil biotic community is able to disintegrate any OM of natural origin; (ii) molecular recalcitrance of OM is relative, rather than absolute; (iii) recalcitrance is only important during early decomposition and in active surface soils; while (iv) during late decomposition and in the subsoil, the relevance of spatial inaccessibility and organo-mineral interactions for SOM stabilization increases. We conclude that major difficulties in the understanding and prediction of SOM dynamics originate from the simultaneous operation of several mechanisms. We discuss knowledge gaps and promising directions of future research.

2,332 citations

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: A better understanding of the relations between microbial diversity and soil functions requires not only the use of more accurate assays for taxonomically and functionally characterizing DNA and RNA extracted from soil, but also high-resolution techniques with which to detect inactive and active microbial cells in the soil matrix.
Abstract: Summary Soil is a complex and dynamic biological system, and still in 2003 it is difficult to determine the composition of microbial communities in soil. We are also limited in the determination of microbially mediated reactions because present assays for determining the overall rate of entire metabolic processes (such as respiration) or specific enzyme activities (such as urease, protease and phosphomonoesterase activity) do not allow any identification of the microbial species directly involved in the measured processes. The central problem posed by the link between microbial diversity and soil function is to understand the relations between genetic diversity and community structure and between community structure and function. A better understanding of the relations between microbial diversity and soil functions requires not only the use of more accurate assays for taxonomically and functionally characterizing DNA and RNA extracted from soil, but also high-resolution techniques with which to detect inactive and active microbial cells in the soil matrix. Soil seems to be characterized by a redundancy of functions; for example, no relationship has been shown to exist between microbial diversity and decomposition of organic matter. Generally, a reduction in any group of species has little effect on overall processes in soil because other microorganisms can take on its function. The determination of the composition of microbial communities in soil is not necessary for a better quantification of nutrient transformations. The holistic approach, based on the division of the systems in pools and the measurement of fluxes linking these pools, is the most efficient. The determination of microbial C, N, P and S contents by fumigation techniques has allowed a better quantification of nutrient dynamics in soil. However, further advances require determining new pools, such as active microbial biomass, also with molecular techniques. Recently investigators have separated 13C- and 12C-DNA, both extracted from soil treated with a 13C source, by density-gradient centrifugation. This technique should allow us to calculate the active microbial C pool by multiplying the ratio between labelled and total DNA by the microbial biomass C content of soil. In addition, the taxonomic and functional characterization of 13C-DNA allows us to understand more precisely the changes in the composition of microbial communities affected by the C-substrate added to soil.

1,887 citations

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: In this paper, a unified framework for the measurement of aggregate stability is proposed to assess a soil's susceptibility to crusting and erosion, which combines three treatments having various wetting conditions and energies (fast wetting, slow wetting and stirring after pre-wetting).
Abstract: Summary Crusting and erosion of cultivated soils result from aggregate breakdown and the detachment of soil fragments by rain, and the susceptibility of soil to these processes is often inferred from measurements of aggregate stability. Here, theories of aggregate breakdown are reviewed and four main mechanisms (i.e. slaking, breakdown by differential swelling, mechanical breakdown by raindrop impact and physico–chemical dispersion) are defined. Their relative importance depends on the nature of the rain, as well as on the soil's physical and chemical properties. The relations between aggregate breakdown, crusting and water erosion are analysed, and existing methods for the assessment of aggregate stability are reviewed. A unified framework for the measurement of aggregate stability is proposed to assess a soil's susceptibility to crusting and erosion. It combines three treatments having various wetting conditions and energies (fast wetting, slow wetting, and stirring after pre-wetting) and measures the resulting fragment size distribution after each treatment. It is designed to compare different soils, or different climatic conditions for a given soil, not to compare time-dependent changes in that soil.

1,259 citations

Performance
Metrics
No. of papers from the Journal in previous years
YearPapers
202359
2022134
2021214
202087
2019132
2018106