Articles | Volume 18, issue 1
Research article
 | Highlight paper
12 Jan 2021
Research article | Highlight paper |  | 12 Jan 2021

Millennial-age glycerol dialkyl glycerol tetraethers (GDGTs) in forested mineral soils: 14C-based evidence for stabilization of microbial necromass

Hannah Gies, Frank Hagedorn, Maarten Lupker, Daniel Montluçon, Negar Haghipour, Tessa Sophia van der Voort, and Timothy Ian Eglinton


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Short summary
Understanding controls on the persistence of organic matter in soils is essential to constrain its role in the carbon cycle. Emerging concepts suggest that the soil carbon pool is predominantly comprised of stabilized microbial residues. To test this hypothesis we isolated microbial membrane lipids from two Swiss soil profiles and measured their radiocarbon age. We find that the ages of these compounds are in the range of millenia and thus provide evidence for stabilized microbial mass in soils.
Final-revised paper