Biotic interactions and biogeochemical processes in the soil environment


Subke J, Carbone MS, Khomik M, Stoy P & Bahn M (2012) Biotic interactions and biogeochemical processes in the soil environment. Biogeosciences, 9, pp. 1823-1825.;

Soils play a key role in the terrestrial carbon (C) cycle by storing and emitting large quantities of C. The impact of abiotic conditions (mainly soil temperature and moisture) on soil C turnover is well documented, but unravelling the influence of these drivers across temporal and spatial scales remains an important challenge. Biotic factors, such as microbial abundance and diversity, macro-faunal food webs and below-ground plant (i.e. root) biomass and diversity, play an important role in controlling soil C storage and emission, but remain under-investigated. To better understand the soil processes underlying terrestrial C cycling, the interactions between plants (autotrophs) and soil organisms (heterotrophs) need to be addressed more explicitly and integrated with short- and long-term effects of abiotic drivers. This special issue presents recent advances in field, laboratory, and modelling studies on soil C dynamics, with a particular emphasis on those aiming to resolve abiotic and biotic influences. The manuscripts highlight three areas of investigation that we suggest are central to current and future progress in ecosystem C dynamic research: (1) novel interpretations of abiotic controls on soil CO2 efflux, (2) legacy effects of abiotic drivers of soil C dynamics, and (3) the interaction between plant C dynamics and soil biological processes.

Soil CO2 efflux; Root respiration; Rhizosphere; Partitioning; terrestrial carbon cycle

Biogeosciences: Volume 9

Publication date31/12/2012
PublisherCopernicus for the European Geosciences Union
Publisher URL…-9-1823-2012.pdf