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      Drying and rewetting effects on C and N mineralization and microbial activity in surface and subsurface California grassland soils

      , , ,

      Soil Biology and Biochemistry

      Elsevier BV

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          Stability of organic carbon in deep soil layers controlled by fresh carbon supply.

          The world's soils store more carbon than is present in biomass and in the atmosphere. Little is known, however, about the factors controlling the stability of soil organic carbon stocks and the response of the soil carbon pool to climate change remains uncertain. We investigated the stability of carbon in deep soil layers in one soil profile by combining physical and chemical characterization of organic carbon, soil incubations and radiocarbon dating. Here we show that the supply of fresh plant-derived carbon to the subsoil (0.6-0.8 m depth) stimulated the microbial mineralization of 2,567 +/- 226-year-old carbon. Our results support the previously suggested idea that in the absence of fresh organic carbon, an essential source of energy for soil microbes, the stability of organic carbon in deep soil layers is maintained. We propose that a lack of supply of fresh carbon may prevent the decomposition of the organic carbon pool in deep soil layers in response to future changes in temperature. Any change in land use and agricultural practice that increases the distribution of fresh carbon along the soil profile could however stimulate the loss of ancient buried carbon.
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            Increasing risk of great floods in a changing climate.

            Radiative effects of anthropogenic changes in atmospheric composition are expected to cause climate changes, in particular an intensification of the global water cycle with a consequent increase in flood risk. But the detection of anthropogenically forced changes in flooding is difficult because of the substantial natural variability; the dependence of streamflow trends on flow regime further complicates the issue. Here we investigate the changes in risk of great floods--that is, floods with discharges exceeding 100-year levels from basins larger than 200,000 km(2)--using both streamflow measurements and numerical simulations of the anthropogenic climate change associated with greenhouse gases and direct radiative effects of sulphate aerosols. We find that the frequency of great floods increased substantially during the twentieth century. The recent emergence of a statistically significant positive trend in risk of great floods is consistent with results from the climate model, and the model suggests that the trend will continue.
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              The effect of soil drying on humus decomposition and nitrogen availability

               H. Birch (1958)
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                Soil Biology and Biochemistry
                Soil Biology and Biochemistry
                Elsevier BV
                00380717
                September 2008
                September 2008
                : 40
                : 9
                : 2281-2289
                Article
                10.1016/j.soilbio.2008.05.004
                10f65606-901d-4e62-b2ae-334b05b6461a
                © 2008

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