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Biogeosciences An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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BG | Volume 16, issue 7
Biogeosciences, 16, 1401–1410, 2019
https://doi.org/10.5194/bg-16-1401-2019
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
Biogeosciences, 16, 1401–1410, 2019
https://doi.org/10.5194/bg-16-1401-2019
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Research article 05 Apr 2019

Research article | 05 Apr 2019

Multidecadal persistence of organic matter in soils: multiscale investigations down to the submicron scale

Suzanne Lutfalla et al.
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Cited articles  
Baldock, J. A. and Skjemstad, J. O.: Role of the soil matrix and minerals in protecting natural organic materials against biological attack, Org. Geochem., 31, 697–710, 2000. 
Balesdent, J., Mariotti, A., and Guillet, B.: Natural 13C abundance as a tracer for studies of soil organic matter dynamics, Soil Biol. Biochem., 19, 25–30, https://doi.org/10.1016/0038-0717(87)90120-9, 1987. 
Balesdent, J., Petraud, J. P., and Feller, C.: Some effects of ultrasonic vibrations on size-distribution of soil organic matter, Sci. Sol, 29, 95–106, 1991. 
Balesdent, J., Besnard, E., Arrouays, D., and Chenu, C.: The dynamics of carbon in particle-size fractions of soil in a forest-cultivation sequence, Plant Soil, 201, 49–57, https://doi.org/10.1023/A:1004337314970, 1998. 
Balesdent, J., Chenu, C., and Balabane, M.: Relationship of soil organic matter dynamics to physical protection and tillage, Soil Till. Res., 53, 215–230, https://doi.org/10.1016/S0167-1987(99)00107-5, 2000. 
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Soils store large amounts of carbon in soil organic matter, which comes from plant debris and roots. The mechanisms protecting it from biodegradation are not fully understood. Here, we carry out a size-fractionation of soil sampled on different dates in a field experiment. Using carbon and nitrogen content and spectroscopy and microscopy we conclude that organic matter enriched in nitrogen is preferentially protected from biodegradation and that clay minerals have differing protective abilities.
Soils store large amounts of carbon in soil organic matter, which comes from plant debris and...
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