Staff Publications

Staff Publications

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    'Staff publications' is the digital repository of Wageningen University & Research

    'Staff publications' contains references to publications authored by Wageningen University staff from 1976 onward.

    Publications authored by the staff of the Research Institutes are available from 1995 onwards.

    Full text documents are added when available. The database is updated daily and currently holds about 240,000 items, of which 72,000 in open access.

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Record number 510178
Title Dinner in the dark : Illuminating drivers of soil organic matter decomposition
Author(s) Wal, Annemieke van der; Boer, Wietse de
Source Soil Biology and Biochemistry 105 (2017). - ISSN 0038-0717 - p. 45 - 48.
DOI http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.soilbio.2016.11.006
Department(s) Chair Soil Biology and Biological Soil Quality
PE&RC
Publication type Refereed Article in a scientific journal
Publication year 2017
Keyword(s) Decomposition - Functional potential of microbial communities - Home-field advantage - Physicochemical properties - Priming effects - Soil organic matter
Abstract

Soil organic matter (SOM) dynamics plays a crucial role in soil ecosystem functioning and global warming. SOM is normally degraded slowly, but its decomposition rate can change substantially after addition of easily decomposable C sources. This process, known as “the priming effect”, has already been described in 1926 but is still poorly understood. Priming can be positive (extra decomposition of SOM) or negative (reduction of SOM decomposition), depending on the amount and physicochemical characteristics of added compounds, the composition of SOM and the metabolic abilities of responding microorganisms. We propose that the understanding of priming effects can be greatly advanced by investigating the level of convergence between the chemical characteristics of the added compound and SOM fractions, and the functional potential of microbial communities. This can be achieved by combining two different disciplines-microbial ecology and biogeochemistry. Such knowledge will deliver information under which conditions sequestration of soil carbon can be expected and provide possibilities to steer soil carbon dynamics in sustainable agricultural systems.

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