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Divergent accumulation of microbial necromass and plant lignin components in grassland soils
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Ma T, Zhu SS, Wang ZH, Chen DM, Dai GH, Feng BW, Su XY, Hu HF, Li KH, Han WX, Liang C, Bai YF, Feng XJ*
PubYear : 2018
Volume : 9  Issue : 
Publication Name : Nature Communications
Page number : 3480
Abstract : 

The means through which microbes and plants contribute to soil organic carbon (SOC) accumulation remain elusive due to challenges in disentangling the complex components of SOC. Here we use amino sugars and lignin phenols as tracers for microbial necromass and plant lignin components, respectively, and investigate their distribution in the surface soils across Mongolian grasslands in comparison with published data for other grassland soils of the world. While lignin phenols decrease, amino sugars increase with SOC contents in all examined grassland soils, providing continental-scale evidence for the key role of microbial necromass in SOC accumulation. Moreover, in contrast to clay’s control on amino sugar accumulation in fine-textured soils, aridity plays a central role in amino sugar accrual and lignin decomposition in the coarse-textured Mongolian soils. Hence, aridity shifts may have differential impacts on microbial-mediated SOC accumulation in grassland soils of varied textures.

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