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What’s Going on Under the Soil Surface?

Graphic courtesy of Northern Arizona University's Center for Ecosystem Science and Society

Last week, in the first in this series, we looked at how carbon gets into the soil, the different carbon fractions and what they mean to us, how we can use diversity to help carbon stay in the soil longer, and provided some tools for understanding your soil’s ability to sequester more carbon. This week, we’re taking a closer look at what’s happening under the soil that moves carbon around and helps or hinders it in staying there.

Soil Microbes as Predators and Prey

We estimate that there are about 1 billion microbes in a teaspoon of topsoil, and around 10,000 different species. These researchers made some really interesting discoveries about some of those microbes.

Predatory Soil Bacteria Hunt Like Vampires and Wolves, Helping Move Carbon Through the Soil

Plant Root Structures and Carbon Sequestration

Plants remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and deposit it in their structures — and a third of this vegetative carbon is stored in roots. Understanding how carbon deposition changes in different scenarios could help us more accurately predict carbon uptake, which in turn could help design strategies to mitigate climate change.

Plant Competition for Underground Real Estate Affects Carbon Storage and Food Production

Setting the Table for Healthy Microbes

As we head towards Thanksgiving dinner, we’re all thinking about what’s going to be on the menu. Here’s what your soil microbes are hoping for.

Want Good Soil? Feed the Microbes

As we’re learning, getting carbon into the soil is more complex than we may have realized. In future issues we’ll talk about making it easier. Stay tuned!

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