Due to COVID-19, any Fall 2020 colloquia will be virtual. Spring colloquia are TBD.
November 13, 2020 at 1:00pm – Dr. Rose Abramoff, LSCE (Laboratoire des Sciences du Climat et de l’Environnement) in France. Dr. Abramoff is also an affiliated scientist at Lawrence Berkeley National Lab.
“Microbes, minerals, and math: Mechanisms of soil C sequestration, the models used to make predictions, and their role in understanding global climate change”
Soils store more than 2500 Pg of carbon (C), more than in plants and the atmosphere combined. As such, they are the largest potential land sink (or source) of C emissions over the coming decades. Microorganisms and fauna that live in the soil may respire more CO2 into the atmosphere in response to warming temperatures, but they also decompose organic matter into molecules that may be more easily stabilized by mineral surfaces. As such, biotic and particularly soil microbial activity has great potential to both store and release belowground C. Here, we will explore some of the main mechanisms by which C can be sequestered in soils, using experiments, large datasets and model simulations. We will focus on the contribution of plant inputs to soil C, the accessibility of organic matter to decomposing microbes, and the
protection of organic matter by aggregation and sorption to mineral surfaces. I will show how models are used to predict soil C responses to climate and land use change, and how increasing process-level detail in these models has improved our predictions, but has also revealed new challenges.