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The role and functions of the pedosphere in the geochemical cycles of carbon


, : The role and functions of the pedosphere in the geochemical cycles of carbon. Eurasian Soil Science 29(2): 152-164

The following functions are performed by the pedosphere in the geochemical cycles of carbon: (1) a 'sink' or reservoir for sequestration and transformation of atmospheric carbon, assimilated in the course of photosynthesis; (2) a generator and an accumulator of stable carbon compounds in the form of humus substances and carbonates; and (3) a generator and a source of mobile carbon compounds in the form of carbon-containing gases (CO2, CH3, etc.), water-soluble organic compounds, and bicarbonates. The scale and the relationship between the accumulative, transforming, and dispersive functions of the pedosphere are controlled by bioclimatic conditions. Processing of the mass analytical data on the content of humus and carbonates in chernozemic, chestnut, brown semidesert, and grey-brown desert soils of the plains of Eurasia indicated that the storage of humus-bound carbon in the upper 150-250 cm makes up 45-65% of the total reserves of pedogenic carbon in the soils of the steppe zone and 20-30% in the soils of the semidesert and desert zones. The rest of the pedogenic carbon is represented by calcium carbonates. The accumulation of carbon in soils in the form of secondary pedogenic carbonates is ignored by the existing models of the global cycles of carbon.

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