Organic Matter: Global Distribution in World Ecosystems

Authored by: Wilfred M. Post

Managing Soils and Terrestrial Systems

Print publication date:  July  2020
Online publication date:  July  2020

Print ISBN: 9781138342651
eBook ISBN: 9780429346255
Adobe ISBN:

10.1201/9780429346255-71

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Abstract

The exact ratio between living and dead organic matter in terrestrial ecosystems varies, depending on the ecosystem. The amount of carbon stored in soil is determined by the balance of two biotic processes—the productivity of terrestrial vegetation and the decomposition of organic matter. Each of these processes has strong physical and biological controlling factors. Interactions among these controlling factors are of particular importance. These biological and physical factors are the same as the ones that influence the above ground structure and composition of terrestrial ecosystems, so there are strong correspondences between soil organic matter content and ecosystem type.

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