Articles | Volume 20, issue 15
https://doi.org/10.5194/bg-20-3151-2023
https://doi.org/10.5194/bg-20-3151-2023
Research article
 | 
01 Aug 2023
Research article |  | 01 Aug 2023

How well does ramped thermal oxidation quantify the age distribution of soil carbon? Assessing thermal stability of physically and chemically fractionated soil organic matter

Shane W. Stoner, Marion Schrumpf, Alison Hoyt, Carlos A. Sierra, Sebastian Doetterl, Valier Galy, and Susan Trumbore

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Latest update: 27 Feb 2024
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Short summary
Soils store more carbon (C) than any other terrestrial C reservoir, but the processes that control how much C stays in soil, and for how long, are very complex. Here, we used a recent method that involves heating soil in the lab to measure the range of C ages in soil. We found that most C in soil is decades to centuries old, while some stays for much shorter times (days to months), and some is thousands of years old. Such detail helps us to estimate how soil C may react to changing climate.
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