|RILLIG, MATTHIAS - UNIV. OF MONTANA
|NICHOLS, KRISTINE - UNIV. OF MARYLAND
Submitted to: American Chemical Society Annual Meeting Symposium Proceedings
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: 7/11/2000
Publication Date: N/A
Technical Abstract: Elevated atmospheric CO2 levels lead to greater fixation of carbon by plants, and greater transfer of carbon to roots and soil. We are studying the amplification of a series of events that flow from increased inputs of carbon to plant roots, and subsequently to sequestration of organic carbon in soil aggregates. Soil aggregates are groups of primary particles that adhere to each other more strongly than to surrounding soil particles. Plant roots provide carbon for growth and reproduction of a ubiquitous group of symbiotic fungi called arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF). A recent discovery shows that AMF produce copious amounts of an insoluble, hydrophobic, recalcitrant glycoprotein, named glomalin, which is important in stabilizing soil aggregates. Aggregates store and protect additional organic carbon until the aggregates break down. Thus, greater stability of aggregates leads to larger amounts of protected organic carbon in terrestrial ecosystems.