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From Fires to Oceans: Dynamics of Fire-Derived Organic Matter in Terrestrial and Aquatic Ecosystems

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Fire-derived organic matter is ubiquitous on Earth. It can be found in soils, sediments, rivers and oceans. In this wide range of environments, fire-derived organic matter, also known as pyrogenic carbon (PyC), represents a key component of the organic matter pool, and, in many cases, the largest identifiable ...

Fire-derived organic matter is ubiquitous on Earth. It can be found in soils, sediments, rivers and oceans. In this wide range of environments, fire-derived organic matter, also known as pyrogenic carbon (PyC), represents a key component of the organic matter pool, and, in many cases, the largest identifiable group of organic compounds. PyC is also one of the most persistent organic matter fractions in the ecosystems, and its study is, therefore, particularly relevant for the global carbon cycle. From its production during fires to its transfer into soils, sediments and waters, this PyC goes through different transformations, both abiotic and biotic. Contrary to early assumptions, PyC is not inert and interacts strongly with the environment: evidence of microbial decomposition, oxidation patterns and interactions with minerals have been described in different matrices. PyC travels across these different environments and it is modified chemically and physically, but remains persistent.

The aim of this Research Topic is to advance the dialogue between the different PyC disciplines and to integrate knowledge of research fields that traditionally have a low level of information exchange. We welcome PyC experts from different disciplines to discuss PyC persistence and movement processes from fire, soil, sediment and water perspectives and evaluate differences and communalities of these processes.

(Image credit: Prof. Stefan Doerr, Swansea University, UK)


Keywords: Pyrogenic carbon, persistence, terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems, stabilisation processes


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