About this Research Topic

Manuscript Submission Deadline 15 January 2023

The soil organic carbon (SOC) pool is larger than the combined carbon stock in the world’s vegetation and the earth’s atmosphere. Carbon (C) exchanges between soil and atmosphere are quantitatively relevant for the terrestrial C cycle. Soil microbes regulate soil C dynamics through the transformation of plant-derived C, assimilation of C resources to build up their biomass, and decomposition of soil organic matter. The efficiencies of these processes are critical determinants of net ecosystem C storage. Though there is a continuing and growing interest in elucidating the underlying microbial mechanisms driving soil C transformation, stabilization, and release processes, there are still challenges in manipulating the soil microbial community for C storage. For example, identifying major players in C storage and decomposition; determining the genetic basis of the mechanisms involved in C sequestration; understanding complex interactions between soil physicochemical properties, plants and soil microbes over large spatial and temporal scales; and incorporating microbial community patterns and process rates into ecosystem models.

This research topic aims to increase our understanding of the role of microorganisms in soil organic C storage and mobilization processes, as well as to improve our capabilities in developing and evaluating cost-effective microbial strategies for carbon sequestration and anthropogenic carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions mitigation, ultimately assisting us in achieving the goals of carbon neutrality and carbon dioxide emission peaking.

We welcome submissions of Original Research, Reviews, Mini Reviews, Opinions and Perspectives. The aspects of this Research Topic include but are not limited to:
-The identification of major players in soil C storage and mobilization for addressing “who’s there” questions in C-cycling research;
-The ‘Omics’-based approaches to characterize the influence of microbial diversity, community composition, and functional traits on C storage and C decomposition in soils;
-The trade-offs between carbon losses from microbial respiration and assimilation for building microbial biomass;
-The factors impacting microbial modulation of C cycling, including soil environment, plants and their interactions, especially the coupling of carbon, nitrogen and phosphorus cycling;
-The microbial mediation of C-cycle feedbacks to global change and human activities, including climate warming, drought, CO2 elevation, mowing and grazing, etc;
-Incorporating microbial community and functions into predictive and mechanistic soil C models.

Keywords: soil microorganisms, carbon storage and sequestration, organic matter decomposition, carbon-climate feedbacks, metagenomics, ecological model, coupling of carbon, nitrogen and phosphorus cycling


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

The soil organic carbon (SOC) pool is larger than the combined carbon stock in the world’s vegetation and the earth’s atmosphere. Carbon (C) exchanges between soil and atmosphere are quantitatively relevant for the terrestrial C cycle. Soil microbes regulate soil C dynamics through the transformation of plant-derived C, assimilation of C resources to build up their biomass, and decomposition of soil organic matter. The efficiencies of these processes are critical determinants of net ecosystem C storage. Though there is a continuing and growing interest in elucidating the underlying microbial mechanisms driving soil C transformation, stabilization, and release processes, there are still challenges in manipulating the soil microbial community for C storage. For example, identifying major players in C storage and decomposition; determining the genetic basis of the mechanisms involved in C sequestration; understanding complex interactions between soil physicochemical properties, plants and soil microbes over large spatial and temporal scales; and incorporating microbial community patterns and process rates into ecosystem models.

This research topic aims to increase our understanding of the role of microorganisms in soil organic C storage and mobilization processes, as well as to improve our capabilities in developing and evaluating cost-effective microbial strategies for carbon sequestration and anthropogenic carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions mitigation, ultimately assisting us in achieving the goals of carbon neutrality and carbon dioxide emission peaking.

We welcome submissions of Original Research, Reviews, Mini Reviews, Opinions and Perspectives. The aspects of this Research Topic include but are not limited to:
-The identification of major players in soil C storage and mobilization for addressing “who’s there” questions in C-cycling research;
-The ‘Omics’-based approaches to characterize the influence of microbial diversity, community composition, and functional traits on C storage and C decomposition in soils;
-The trade-offs between carbon losses from microbial respiration and assimilation for building microbial biomass;
-The factors impacting microbial modulation of C cycling, including soil environment, plants and their interactions, especially the coupling of carbon, nitrogen and phosphorus cycling;
-The microbial mediation of C-cycle feedbacks to global change and human activities, including climate warming, drought, CO2 elevation, mowing and grazing, etc;
-Incorporating microbial community and functions into predictive and mechanistic soil C models.

Keywords: soil microorganisms, carbon storage and sequestration, organic matter decomposition, carbon-climate feedbacks, metagenomics, ecological model, coupling of carbon, nitrogen and phosphorus cycling


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

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