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ARS Home » Midwest Area » Ames, Iowa » National Laboratory for Agriculture and The Environment » Soil, Water & Air Resources Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #212165

Title: Carbon Stabilization by Clays in the Environment: Process and Characterization Methods

item Laird, David

Submitted to: Meeting Proceedings
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: 6/3/2007
Publication Date: 6/3/2007
Citation: Cervini-Silva, J., Laird, D.A. 2007. Carbon Stabilization by Clays in the Environment: Process and Characterization Methods. In: Cervini-Silva, J., Laird, D.A., editors. Proceedings of the 2007 Clay Minerals Society Workshop, June 3, 2007, Santa Fe, NM.

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: This workshop brings together experts and non-experts interested in understanding at the process level the role of clay minerals in soil organic carbon sequestration. Participants will leave with a thorough understanding of the current state of knowledge about the nature of clay-humic complexes, the role of clay minerals in the formation and stabilization of humic substances in soil environments, and an appreciation for state-of-the art analytical techniques used in clay-humic complex research. There is much current scientific and political interest in the possibility of sequestering organic carbon in agricultural soils as a means of mitigating the threat of global warming. Increasing soil organic matter is also critical to enhancing soil quality and soil fertility. Thus government action agencies, farmers, environmental groups, and commodity brokers are all interested in the development of new agricultural practices that enhance sequestration of organic carbon in agricultural soils. Much of the current research in this area is focused on evaluating the impact of various agricultural management practices on soil carbon sequestration and in developing verifiable means of quantifying soil organic carbon sequestration. Relatively little attention has been paid to the physical, chemical, and biological processes that are responsible for the formation and stabilization of organic carbon in soils. Soil clay minerals are believed to play a critical role in these processes. The workshop will help fill a critical gap and position the participants to play a larger role in future scientific discussion of the topic.