Continental-scale soil carbon composition and vulnerability modulated by regional environmental controls

R. A. Viscarra Rossel, J. Lee, T. Behrens, Z. Luo, J. Baldock & A. Richards

Nature Geoscience



Soil organic carbon (C) is an essential component of the global C cycle. Processes that control its composition and dynamics over large scales are not well understood. Thus, our understanding of C cycling is incomplete, which makes it difficult to predict C gains and losses due to changes in climate, land use and management. Here we show that controls on the composition of organic C, the particulate, humus and resistant fractions, and the potential vulnerability of C to decomposition across Australia are distinct, scale-dependent and variable.