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Microbial Communities and Soil Carbon Cycling and Storage

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This conceptual diagram provides a framework for integrating genomic, transcriptomic, proteomic, and metabalomic information with biogeochemical process data to better understand the relationship between microbial communities and soil carbon cycling and storage. Arrows represent the flow of information (in red) or carbon (in blue) among components. Advanced understanding of the microbe-carbon relationship requires a comprehensive molecular characterization of intact soil microbial communities, including descriptions of actively expressed genes (transcriptome) and genomic potential. This effort could be guided by stable-isotopic targeting of soil microbes important in mediating specific carbon transformations in soil. Synthesis of this descriptive molecular data and environmental drivers will help create models of the mechanistic basis of gross community carbon processing and enable prediction and simulation of microbial community carbon processing under changing environmental conditions. More information regarding Key Research Questions noted on the figure can be found in the report on p. 39.

Credit or Source: Office of Biological and Environmental Research of the U.S. Department of Energy Office of Science.


U.S. DOE. 2008. Carbon Cycling and Biosequestration: Report from the March 2008 Workshop, DOE/SC-108, U.S. Department of Energy Office of Science. (p. 37) (website)

Prepared by the Biological and Environmental Research Information System, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, and