Description: Primary production (specifically, the rate and quality of C transfer below ground) and soil microbial activity (specifically, the rates of C transformation and decay) are recognized as the overall biological processes governing soil organic C (SOC) dynamics. These two processes and, hence, SOC cycling and storage are controlled by complex underlying biotic and abiotic interactions and feedbacks, most of which can be tied in one way or another to the influences of the five state factors related to soil formation, and many of which are sensitive to management practices. Overall, C input rates and quality are largely dependent on climate (especially temperature and precipitation), vegetation type and landscape, soil type, and management practices. Decomposition processes and turnover rates, however, are greatly influenced by climate, the type and quality of organic matter (e.g., N content and the ratios of C:N and lignin:N), chemical or physicochemical associations of organic matter (OM) with soil mineral components, and the location of OM within the soil.
Date: December 31, 1996
Creator: Jastrow, J.D. & Miller, R.M.
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