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A new way of analyzing the chemical composition of soil organic matter will help scientists predict how soils store carbon — and how soil carbon may affect climate in the future, says a Baylor University researcher.
A study by scientists from Iowa State University and Baylor University, published in the academic journal Nature Geoscience, used an archive of data on soils from a wide range of environments across North America — including tundra, tropical rainforests, deserts and prairies — to find patterns to better understand the formation of soil organic matter, which is mostly composed of residues left by dead plants and microorganisms.Associated journal article: Hall, S.J., Ye, C., Weintraub, S.R. et al. “Molecular trade-offs in soil organic carbon composition at continental scale.” Nature Geoscience 13, 687–692 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41561-020-0634-x