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As anthropogenic activities continue to increase the concentration of carbon dioxide (CO2) in the atmosphere, the impact of climate change on both crop production and carbon sequestration continues to be of great interest. While often overlooked as mere dirt, soil is in itself a complex ecosystem that serves as the foundation of agricultural activities, as it is home to microbial communities that cycle nutrients such as carbon (C) and transform them into nutrients plants can use through the process of decomposition. While it is generally accepted that roots are the predominant source of soil C, there is little research and much debate about the contributions of distinct types of roots. In this study, we examine the relationship between root biomass and C mineralization in a forage diversity agricultural system, and find there exists a positive relationship between fine root (>2mm diameter) concentration and the amount of CO2 lost from the soil.
Cocci, Jeffrey, "Effect of Fine Root Biomass on Carbon Mineralization in a Forage Diversity Agricultural System" (2022). Biology Summer Fellows. 97.
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