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When it comes to keeping organic matter contained in wet soils, timing is everything. At least, that’s what a new study led by an Iowa State University ecologist suggests.
The findings, published recently in the peer-reviewed academic journal Nature Communications, show periodically flooded soils may actually lose organic matter at accelerated rates, said Steven Hall, an assistant professor of ecology, evolution and organismal biology and corresponding author of the study. The findings contradict the widely held view that soils with high water content necessarily accumulate organic matter better than dry soils, which could have implications for agricultural and wetlands conservation practices, Hall said.