Black carbon affects the cycling of non-black carbon in soil

Biqing Liang, Johannes Lehmann, Saran P. Sohi, Janice E. Thies, Brendan O'Neill, Lucerina Trujillo, John Gaunt, Dawit Solomon, Julie Grossman, Eduardo G. Neves, Flavio J. Luizão

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395 Scopus citations

Abstract

Black carbon (BC) is an important fraction of many soils worldwide and plays an important role in global C biogeochemistry. However, few studies have examined how it influences the mineralization of added organic matter (AOM) and its incorporation into soil physical fractions and whether BC decomposition is increased by AOM. BC-rich Anthrosols and BC-poor adjacent soils from the Central Amazon (Brazil) were incubated for 532 days either with or without addition of 13C-isotopically different plant residue. Total C mineralization from the BC-rich Anthrosols with AOM was 25.5% (P < 0.05) lower than with mineralization from the BC-poor adjacent soils. The AOM contributed to a significantly (P < 0.05) higher proportion to the total C mineralized in the BC-rich Anthrosols (91-92%) than the BC-poor adjacent soils (69-80%). The AOM was incorporated more rapidly in BC-rich than BC-poor soils from the separated free light fraction through the intra-aggregate light fraction into the stable organo-mineral fraction and up to 340% more AOM was found in the organo-mineral fraction. This more rapid stabilization was observed despite a significantly (P < 0.05) lower metabolic quotient for BC-rich Anthrosols. The microbial biomass (MB) was up to 125% greater (P < 0.05) in BC-rich Anthrosols than BC-poor adjacent soils. To account for increased MB adsorption onto BC during fumigation extraction, a correction factor was developed via addition of a 13C-enriched microbial culture. The recovery was found to be 21-41% lower (P < 0.05) for BC-rich than BC-poor soils due to re-adsorption of MB onto BC. Mineralization of native soil C was enhanced to a significantly greater degree in BC-poor adjacent soils compared to BC-rich Anthrosols as a result of AOM. No positive priming by way of cometabolism due to AOM could be found for aged BC in the soils.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)206-213
Number of pages8
JournalOrganic Geochemistry
Volume41
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 1 2010

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    Liang, B., Lehmann, J., Sohi, S. P., Thies, J. E., O'Neill, B., Trujillo, L., Gaunt, J., Solomon, D., Grossman, J., Neves, E. G., & Luizão, F. J. (2010). Black carbon affects the cycling of non-black carbon in soil. Organic Geochemistry, 41(2), 206-213. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.orggeochem.2009.09.007