Articles | Volume 6, issue 2
SOIL, 6, 597–627, 2020
SOIL, 6, 597–627, 2020

Original research article 07 Dec 2020

Original research article | 07 Dec 2020

Iron and aluminum association with microbially processed organic matter via meso-density aggregate formation across soils: organo-metallic glue hypothesis

Rota Wagai et al.

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Cited articles

Adhikari, D., Sowers, T., Stuckey, J. W., Wang, X., Sparks, D. L., and Yang, Y.: Formation and redox reactivity of ferrihydrite-organic carbon-calcium co-precipitates, Geochim. Cosmochim. Ac., 244, 86–98,, 2019. 
Anthony, J. W., Bideaux, R. A., Bladh, K. W., and Nichols, M. C.: Volume III. Halides, Hydroxides, Oxides, Handbook of Mineralogy, Mineralogical Society of America, Chantilly, VA 20151-1110, USA, 1997. 
Asano, M. and Wagai, R.: Evidence of aggregate hierarchy at micro- to submicron scales in an allophanic Andisol, Geoderma, 216, 62–74,, 2014. 
Asano, M., Tamura, K., Kawada, K., and Higashi, T.: Morphological and physico-chemical characteristics of soils in a steppe region of the Kherlen River basin, Mongolia, J. Hydrol., 333, 100–108,, 2006. 
Asano, M., Wagai, R., Yamaguchi, N., Takeichi, Y., Maeda, M., Suga, H., and Takahashi, Y.: In Search of a Binding Agent: Nano-Scale Evidence of Preferential Carbon Associations with Poorly-Crystalline Mineral Phases in Physically-Stable, Clay-Sized Aggregates, Soil Systems, 2, 32,, 2018. 
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Global significance of metals (extractable Fe and Al phases) to control organic matter (OM) in recognized. Next key questions include the identification of their localization and mechanism behind OM–metal relationships. Across 23 soils of contrasting mineralogy, Fe and Al phases were mainly associated with microbially processed OM as meso-density microaggregates. OM- and metal-rich nanocomposites with a narrow OM :  metal ratio likely acted as binding agents. A new conceptual model was proposed.