Articles | Volume 1, issue 1
SOIL, 1, 313–330, 2015

Special issue: An introduction to SOIL

SOIL, 1, 313–330, 2015
Review article
09 Apr 2015
Review article | 09 Apr 2015

Investigating microbial transformations of soil organic matter: synthesizing knowledge from disparate fields to guide new experimentation

S. A. Billings et al.

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Cited articles

Agnelli, A., Ascher, J., Corti, G., Ceccherini, M. T., Nannipieri, P., and Pietramellara, J.: Distribution of microbial communities in a forest soil profile investigated by microbial biomass, soil respiration and DGGE of total and extracellular DNA, Soil Biol. Biochem., 36, 859–868, 2004.
Allison, S. D.: Cheaters, diffusion and nutrients constrain decomposition by microbial enzymes in spatially structured environments, Ecol. Lett., 8, 626–635, 2005.
Allison, S. D.: A trait-based approach for modelling microbial litter decomposition, Ecol. Lett., 15, 1058–1070, 2012.
Allison, S. D., Wallenstein, M. D., and Bradford, M. A.: Soil-carbon response to warming dependent on microbial physiology, Nat. Geosci., 3, 336–340, 2010.
Amado, A. M., Meirelles-Pereira, F., Vidal, L. O., Sarmento, H., Suhett, A. L., Farjalla, V. F., Cotner, J., and Roland, F.: Tropical freshwater ecosystems have lower bacterial growth efficiency than temperate ones, Front. Microbiol., 4, 1–8, 2013.
Short summary
We highlight observations relevant to soil organic matter (SOM) decay and retention but often emanating from disparate fields. First, we describe relevant natural and artificial aquatic environments. Second, we describe how intrinsic patterns of decay kinetics for purified soil substrates are useful for defining baseline rates. Third, we describe theoretical advances important for the discipline. Last, we describe how these advances can be used to unravel the mysteries of deep SOM persistence.
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