The contentious nature of soil organic matter

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Date: Dec. 3, 2015
From: Nature(Vol. 528, Issue 7580)
Publisher: Nature Publishing Group
Document Type: Report
Length: 8,027 words
Lexile Measure: 1570L

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Abstract :

The exchange of nutrients, energy and carbon between soil organic matter, the soil environment, aquatic systems and the atmosphere is important for agricultural productivity, water quality and climate. Long-standing theory suggests that soil organic matter is composed of inherently stable and chemically unique compounds. Here we argue that the available evidence does not support the formation of large-molecular-size and persistent 'humic substances' in soils. Instead, soil organic matter is a continuum of progressively decomposing organic compounds. We discuss implications of this view of the nature of soil organic matter for aquatic health, soil carbon-climate interactions and land management.

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Source Citation   

Gale Document Number: GALE|A436544362