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About: Decomposition is a(n) research topic. Over the lifetime, 10529 publication(s) have been published within this topic receiving 185902 citation(s). The topic is also known as: rotting & putrefaction. more

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Journal ArticleDOI
01 Sep 1958-Plant and Soil
Abstract: Respirometer experiments show that when a dry soil is moistened a characteristic pattern of decomposition occurs in which an initial period of relatively rapid decomposition (Stage 1) falls, during a few days, to a slow steady rate (Stage 2). This pattern is repetitive with successive dryings and rewettings and is common to all soils so far investigated. The magnitude of decomposition depends in the percent carbon in the soil and on the drying conditions, air-drying being less effective than oven-drying. Decomposition during Stage 1 conforms approximately to a first-order reaction and proportionate amounts of nitrogen are mineralised. A similar pattern of decomposition occurs under field conditions throughout successive wet and dry seasons. Evidence is presented to show that decomposition involves direct microbial attack of the solid organic substrate and that the recurrent pattern of decomposition is due to the state in which the microbial population is left after drying and its subsequent behaviour on rewetting. The rapid decline in the rate of decomposition on rewetting (Stage 1) appears not to involve (1) the development of toxic conditions, (b) physical changes in the soil (since similar patterns of decomposition also occur with organic material alone or in sand) or (c) rapid decomposition of organic material made soluble by drying. The operation and repetition of this pattern of decomposition in the field has important consequences in the rundown of soil carbon and the mineralisation of soil nitrogen particularly where well-defined wet and dry seasons occur. These consequences are discussed in relation to climate and certain agricultural practices. more

1,148 citations

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: A simple theoretical model is built to explore the behavior of the decomposition–microbial growth system when the fundamental kinetic assumption is changed from first order kinetics to exoenzymes catalyzed decomposition (dC/dt=KC×Enzymes). more

Abstract: Traditional models of soil organic matter (SOM) decomposition are all based on first order kinetics in which the decomposition rate of a particular C pool is proportional to the size of the pool and a simple decomposition constant (dC/dt=kC). In fact, SOM decomposition is catalyzed by extracellular enzymes that are produced by microorganisms. We built a simple theoretical model to explore the behavior of the decomposition–microbial growth system when the fundamental kinetic assumption is changed from first order kinetics to exoenzymes catalyzed decomposition (dC/dt=KC×Enzymes). An analysis of the enzyme kinetics showed that there must be some mechanism to produce a non-linear response of decomposition rates to enzyme concentration—the most likely is competition for enzyme binding on solid substrates as predicted by Langmuir adsorption isotherm theory. This non-linearity also induces C limitation, regardless of the potential supply of C. The linked C and N version of the model showed that actual polymer breakdown and microbial use of the released monomers can be disconnected, and that it requires relatively little N to maintain the maximal rate of decomposition, regardless of the microbial biomass’ ability to use the breakdown products. In this model, adding a pulse of C to an N limited system increases respiration, while adding N actually decreases respiration (as C is redirected from waste respiration to microbial growth). For many years, researchers have argued that the lack of a respiratory response by soil microbes to added N indicates that they are not N limited. This model suggests that conclusion may be wrong. While total C flow may be limited by the functioning of the exoenzyme system, actual microbial growth may be N limited. more

1,122 citations

Journal ArticleDOI
T. K. Kirk1, E. Schultz2, William J. Connors1, L. F. Lorenz1  +1 moreInstitutions (2)
Abstract: Culture parameters influencing metabolism of synthetic14C-lignins to14CO2 in defined media have been studied in shallow batch cultures of the ligninolytic wood-destroying HymenomycetePhanerochaete chrysosporium Burds. Study of the effect of O2 concentration in the gas phase above non-agitated cultures indicated essentially complete absence of attack on the lignin polymer at 5% O2 in N2, and a 2- to 3-fold enhancement by 100% O2 as compared to air (21% O2). Agitation of the cultures resulting in the formation of mycelial pellets greatly suppressed lignin decomposition. The optimum culture pH for lignin decomposition was 4 to 4.5, with marked suppression above 5.5 and below 3.5. The source of nutrient nitrogen (NO 3 − , NH 4 + , amino acids) had little influence on lignin decomposition, but the concentration of nitrogen was critical; decomposition at 24 mM was only 25–35% of that at 2.4 mM N. Thiamine was the only vitamin required for growth and lignin decomposition. Under the optimum conditions developed, decomposition of 5 mg of synthetic lignin was accompanied by utilization of approximately 100 mg of glucose. The influence of the various culture parameters was analogous for metabolism of synthetic lignin labeled in the ring-,side chain-, and methoxyl carbon atoms. more

1,012 citations

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: Analyzing carbon cathodes, cycled in Li-O(2) cells between 2 and 4 V, using acid treatment and Fenton's reagent, and combined with differential electrochemical mass spectrometry and FTIR demonstrates the following: Carbon is relatively stable below 3.5 V, but is unstable on charging above 3. more

Abstract: Carbon has been used widely as the basis of porous cathodes for nonaqueous Li–O2 cells. However, the stability of carbon and the effect of carbon on electrolyte decomposition in such cells are complex and depend on the hydrophobicity/hydrophilicity of the carbon surface. Analyzing carbon cathodes, cycled in Li–O2 cells between 2 and 4 V, using acid treatment and Fenton’s reagent, and combined with differential electrochemical mass spectrometry and FTIR, demonstrates the following: Carbon is relatively stable below 3.5 V (vs Li/Li+) on discharge or charge, especially so for hydrophobic carbon, but is unstable on charging above 3.5 V (in the presence of Li2O2), oxidatively decomposing to form Li2CO3. Direct chemical reaction with Li2O2 accounts for only a small proportion of the total carbon decomposition on cycling. Carbon promotes electrolyte decomposition during discharge and charge in a Li–O2 cell, giving rise to Li2CO3 and Li carboxylates (DMSO and tetraglyme electrolytes). The Li2CO3 and Li carboxylat... more

998 citations

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Topic's top 5 most impactful authors

Andrew K. Galwey

11 papers, 478 citations

Takaharu Onishi

10 papers, 204 citations

K. Muraleedharan

10 papers, 61 citations

Tanya Tsoncheva

9 papers, 194 citations

Qi-Long Yan

8 papers, 106 citations