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Journal Article

Radiocarbon and Soil Carbon Dynamics


Trumbore,  Susan E.
Department Biogeochemical Processes, Prof. S. E. Trumbore, Max Planck Institute for Biogeochemistry, Max Planck Society;

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Trumbore, S. E. (2009). Radiocarbon and Soil Carbon Dynamics. Annual Review of Earth and Planetary Sciences, 37, 47-66. doi:10.1146/annurev.earth.36.031207.124300.

Cite as: http://hdl.handle.net/11858/00-001M-0000-000E-D912-E
Research over the past several decades has clarified the mechanisms and timescales involved in stabilizing organic matter ill Soils, but We Still lack process-based understanding sufficient for predicting how vulnerable soil carbon (C) is, given climatic or environmental change across a range of soil types and landscapes. Part of the problem is the emphasis oil short-term studies and processes that dominate C balance at the point or soil profile scale, whereas other processes that dominate over longer timescales and larger spatial scales may actually be more important for determining the carbon balance of soils in a region. Radiocarbon is one of the only tools to study the dynamics of C in soils oil decadal to millennial timescales. It provides a means for directly testing models of organic matter dynamics in ecosystems and, when measured in respired CO2 or dissolved organic carbon (DOC), provides evidence of shifts in microbial metabolism. This review explores the application of this underutilized tool, with an emphasis on conceptual advances made using the state-factor approach mid oil detecting processes causing abrupt change in soil C stores. [References: 119]