Navigation Links
ORNL researchers improve soil carbon cycling models
Date:8/16/2012

A new carbon cycling model developed at the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) Oak Ridge National Laboratory better accounts for the carbon dioxide-releasing activity of microbes in the ground, improving scientists' understanding of the role soil will play in future climate change.

Predicting climate change depends heavily on the cycling of carbon dioxide, which is found in four main reservoirs: the atmosphere, biosphere, oceans and soil. ORNL's model was designed to replace traditional soil carbon cycling models.

"Soil is a big reservoir of carbon," said co-author Melanie Mayes of ORNL's Environmental Sciences Division. "And most of the soil carbon cycling models in use today are so vastly simplified that they ignore the fact that decomposition is actually performed by microbes."

In a paper published in Ecological Applications, the journal of the Ecological Society of America, ORNL researchers integrated data from scientific literature on carbon degradation in soil to form the Microbial-Enzyme-mediated Decomposition, or MEND, model that improves upon previous models.

"Our MEND model does a better job of representing the mechanisms of soil carbon decomposition than existing models," Mayes said.

ORNL's comprehensive model accounts for how the different forms of carbon in soil, or "pools," react with extracellular enzymes excreted into the soil by microbes, allowing scientists to understand how quickly carbon is moving through soils.

The model simulates the carbon cycle, beginning after a decaying plant or animal releases carbon-rich materials into the soil. The organic material is degraded by enzymatic reactions, releasing dissolved carbon molecules that can be absorbed by microbes for growth or metabolism. These processes ultimately result in the release of carbon dioxide.

ORNL's MEND model is the first model able to track degradation by accounting for most of the relevant processes and by estimating the parameters based on a comprehensive literature review. This model, which is based on the physiological functions of microbes, accounts for how temperature affects the ability of microbes to emit carbon dioxide. Soil can either store or release carbon depending on how rapidly carbon-rich materials in the soil are decomposed.

"What we think will happen is that as temperature goes up, microbial physiology will change, altering their ability to break down carbon chains and release carbon dioxide into the atmosphere," Mayes said. "If our models don't account for this process, then our ability to predict future climate change will be less realistic."

For the next six to eight months, ORNL's team will run laboratory-scale experiments to ensure that the MEND model accurately represents the decomposition of carbon compounds in soils. Eventually, team members hope to incorporate their model into the publicly available supercomputing program called the Community Land Model, a module used in the Community Earth System Model that helps researchers predict future climate change.


'/>"/>
Contact: Jennifer Brouner
brounerjm@ornl.gov
865-241-9515
DOE/Oak Ridge National Laboratory
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. Researchers identify key culprit causing muscle atrophy
2. Researchers demonstrate control of devastating cassava virus in Africa
3. Researchers pursue red flag for schizophrenia relapse
4. A new line of defense: Researchers find cattle vaccine works to reduce E. coli O157:H7
5. Iowa State, Ames Lab researchers invent new tool to study single biological molecules
6. Wayne State researchers working to improve genetic analysis, disorder detection
7. Superbird stuns researchers
8. Massachusetts Eye and Ear researchers discover elusive gene that causes a form of blindness from birth
9. Researchers monitor red tides in Chesapeake Bay
10. BUSM researchers find link between childhood abuse and age at menarche
11. Researchers dig through the gene bank to uncover the roots of the evolutionary tree
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:1/19/2017)... 19, 2017 According to a new report published by ... - 2022," the global biometric sensor market is expected to garner $1.5 billion ... 2015, Asia-Pacific dominated the global market and contributed over ... Continue Reading ... ...
(Date:1/18/2017)... ROCKVILLE, Md. , Jan. 18, 2017  In ... with respect to mergers and acquisitions (M&A), and Kalorama ... reasons for such acquisitions have been shifting. Generally, uncertainty ... and the U.S. has changed the acquisitions ... situation has resulted in companies buying partners outside of ...
(Date:1/13/2017)... WASHINGTON, N.Y. , Jan. 13, 2017 /PRNewswire/ ... of technology solutions for the homecare industry, including ... of homecare industry expert, Justin Jugs, as Senior ... brings more than 15 years of homecare experience ... team in developing strategic plans to align Sandata,s ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:1/21/2017)... , Jan. 20, 2017 Bioptix, ... the "Company"), announced that on January 14, 2017 the ... under which the Company will terminate certain employees associated ... Diagnostics, Inc.  The Company commenced terminations on January 16, ... 30 days.  The Company may pay severance benefits in ...
(Date:1/21/2017)... 2017   Boston Biomedical , an industry leader ... cancer stemness pathways, today presented data from two clinical ... 2017 American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) Gastrointestinal Cancers ... In a Phase Ib/II study of napabucasin ... cancer stemness pathways by targeting STAT3 – colorectal cancer ...
(Date:1/20/2017)... NEW YORK , January 20, 2017 ... how current market conditions have influenced the most recent ... Regulus Therapeutics Inc. (NASDAQ: RGLS ), Abeona ... Inc. (NASDAQ: TBPH ), and Sage Therapeutics ... new research report by Grand View Research, global Biotech market size ...
(Date:1/20/2017)... January 20, 2017 http://www.Financialbuzz.com ... one of leading causes of death worldwide. There were ... number of cancer related deaths increased gradually over time, ... incidence rate of various cancers continues to drive demand ... report by Global Market Insights, Inc. cancer biological therapy ...
Breaking Biology Technology: