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Title: Physical soil architectural traits are functionally linked to carbon decomposition and bacterial diversity
Contributor(s): Fazle Rabbi, S M  (author); Daniel, Heiko  (author); Lockwood, Peter V  (author); Macdonald, C (author); Pereg, Lily  (author); Tighe, Matthew  (author); Wilson, Brian  (author)orcid ; Young, Iain  (author)
Publication Date: 2016
Open Access: Yes
DOI: 10.1038/srep33012Open Access Link
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Abstract: Aggregates play a key role in protecting soil organic carbon (SOC) from microbial decomposition. The objectives of this study were to investigate the influence of pore geometry on the organic carbon decomposition rate and bacterial diversity in both macro- (250-2000 μm) and micro-aggregates (53-250 μm) using field samples. Four sites of contrasting land use on Alfisols (i.e. native pasture, crop/pasture rotation, woodland) were investigated. 3D Pore geometry of the micro-aggregates and macro-aggregates were examined by X-ray computed tomography (μCT). The occluded particulate organic carbon (oPOC) of aggregates was measured by size and density fractionation methods. Microaggregates had 54% less μCT observed porosity but 64% more oPOC compared with macro-aggregates. In addition, the pore connectivity in micro-aggregates was lower than macro-aggregates. Despite both lower μCT observed porosity and pore connectivity in micro-aggregates, the organic carbon decomposition rate constant (Ksoc) was similar in both aggregate size ranges. Structural equation modelling showed a strong positive relationship of the concentration of oPOC with bacterial diversity in aggregates. We use these findings to propose a conceptual model that illustrates the dynamic links between substrate, bacterial diversity, and pore geometry that suggests a structural explanation for differences in bacterial diversity across aggregate sizes.
Publication Type: Journal Article
Source of Publication: Scientific Reports, v.6, p. 1-9
Publisher: Nature Publishing Group
Place of Publication: United Kingdom
ISSN: 2045-2322
Field of Research (FOR): 050301 Carbon Sequestration Science
050302 Land Capability and Soil Degradation
Socio-Economic Outcome Codes: 961402 Farmland, Arable Cropland and Permanent Cropland Soils
Peer Reviewed: Yes
HERDC Category Description: C1 Refereed Article in a Scholarly Journal
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School of Environmental and Rural Science

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