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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service


item Smith, Jeffrey
item Bailey, V
item Bolton, H

Submitted to: Microbial Ecology International Symposium
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 5/1/2006
Publication Date: 7/1/2006
Citation: Smith, J.L.; Bailey, V.L.; Bolton, H. Relating Microbial C Metabolism to Soil C Storage. International Society of Microbial Ecology, 2006.

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: Microbial mediated C metabolism in soils is governed by the amount and quality of C substrates. The rate of microbial decomposition of C substrates may influence the decomposability of secondary products. Thus as a hypothesis, rapidly metabolized substrates will be conserved in soils longer than slowly decomposed C compounds. Experiments with 14C substrates were used to monitor substrate utilization and substrate persistence in soils with varying soil organic matter and microbial populations. Soil organic C and N had little influence on C substrate metabolism. There were differences in substrate utilization based on the different metabolic pathways for the substrates. It appears that the more rapid a substrate is utilized in the short-term the longer it will persist in the environment. Thus systems that have litter and other organic substrates that have readily available C and are decomposed rapidly should be able to store more C for longer periods of time.

Last Modified: 06/23/2017
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