An increase in human-made carbon dioxide in the atmosphere could initiate a chain reaction between plants and microorganisms that would unsettle one of the largest carbon reservoirs on the planet — soil.
Researchers based at Princeton University report in the journal Nature Climate Change that the carbon in soil — which contains twice the amount of carbon in all plants and Earth’s atmosphere combined — could become increasingly volatile as people add more carbon dioxide to the atmosphere, largely because of increased plant growth. The researchers developed the first computer model to show at a global scale the complex interaction between carbon, plants and soil, which includes numerous bacteria, fungi, minerals and carbon compounds that respond in complex ways to temperature, moisture and the carbon that plants contribute to soil.
Although a greenhouse gas and pollutant, carbon dioxide also supports plant growth. As trees and other vegetation flourish in a carbon dioxide-rich future, their roots could stimulate microbial activity in soil that in turn accelerates the decomposition of soil carbon and its release into the atmosphere as carbon dioxide, the researchers found.
This effect counters current key projections regarding Earth’s future carbon cycle, particularly that greater plant growth could offset carbon dioxide emissions as flora take up more of the gas, said first author Benjamin Sulman, who conducted the modeling work as a postdoctoral researcher at the Princeton Environmental Institute.
“You should not count on getting more carbon storage in the soil just because tree growth is increasing,” said Sulman, who is now a postdoctoral researcher at Indiana University.
The Latest on: Soil carbon
via Google News
The Latest on: Soil carbon
- Growth rate trades off with enzymatic investment in soil filamentous fungion July 3, 2020 at 2:07 am
Saprobic soil fungi drive many important ecosystem processes, including decomposition, and many of their effects are related to growth rate and enzymatic ability. In mycology, there has long been the ...
- ‘Zombie Fires’ in the Arctic Pump Out Carbon at Record Paceon July 2, 2020 at 8:17 am
Soaring temperatures that reached 38 degrees Celsius in the Arctic Circle reignited wildfires Wildfires that have raged in the Arctic Circle since early spring led to a record spike in pollution from ...
- Arctic plants may not provide predicted carbon sequestration potentialon July 2, 2020 at 7:23 am
The environmental benefits of taller, shrubbier tundra plants in the Arctic may be overstated, according to new research involving the University of Stirling.
- Integrated network modeling approach defines key metabolic responses of soil microbiomes to perturbationson July 2, 2020 at 3:36 am
The soil environment is constantly changing due to shifts in soil moisture, nutrient availability and other conditions. To contend with these changes, soil microorganisms have evolved a variety of ...
- Gold Mining Is Hurting the Amazon's Ability to Store Carbonon July 1, 2020 at 9:18 am
Gold mining is becoming an increasingly dangerous threat to the Amazon. A new study has found that barely any trees or plants grow where mines once sat. This is bad news for the wildlife that depends ...
- How one teaspoon of Amazon soil teems with fungal lifeon June 27, 2020 at 11:33 am
A teaspoon of soil from the Amazon contains as many as 1,800 microscopic life forms, of which 400 are fungi. Largely invisible and hidden underground, the "dark matter" of life on Earth has "amazing ...
- Carbon cycling in wet soilson June 25, 2020 at 12:39 am
Under changing, increasingly dynamic climatic conditions, temperate soils are forecast to experience a high degree of variability in moisture conditions due to periods of drought and/or flood. These ...
- Earth’s Rapidly Degrading Soil Is Bad News For Human Healthon June 24, 2020 at 1:39 pm
It’s like that old saying, ‘If mama ain’t happy, nobody’s happy,’ says soil advocate, Holly Arbuckle. “In order to have nutrient dense food, [and healthy people] we need healthy soil.” ...
- Early Zoom backer, Mike Cannon-Brookes back Soil Carbon Coon June 24, 2020 at 7:12 am
Soil Carbon Co has created a solution that could help plants extract and store 25 per cent of the world's yearly carbon emissions.
- Billionaires Back Tiny Fungi to Slash Cost of Capturing Carbonon June 24, 2020 at 7:01 am
High-profile investors including Chris Sacca and Atlassian co-founder Mike Cannon-Brookes have backed an Australian project that seeks to slash the costs of sucking carbon dioxide from the atmosphere ...
via Bing News