James G. Bockheim Distinguished Lecture in Soil Science

“Soil Carbon:  The Labile, the Stable, and the Unknown”

Dr. Sylvie Quideau, University of Alberta, Soil Biogeochemistry, Edmonton, Canada

Wednesday, November 14, 2018 @ 3:45 pm in 270 Soils Bldg.

Reception to follow.

ABSTRACT:  Soil performance is directly linked to its organic carbon content, and as such, soil carbon has often been considered as a proxy for soil quality. More recently, soil carbon has received renewed attention as one of the key players in the global carbon cycle. Soil carbon encompasses a series of pools with differing residence times. Labile carbon may turnover within days or years, while stable carbon may persist in soils for thousands of years. In between these two extremes, lies carbon with intermediate (decadal) turnover rates. This decadal pool is of particular relevance to the overall soil carbon response to climatic changes over the next century. This presentation will present major advances of the past three decades in our understanding of soil carbon dynamics, including formation pathways and stabilization mechanisms. The synergy of complementary approaches will be highlighted; starting from a sound pedology-based field approach using controlled soil sequence, to detailed laboratory characterization using solid-state 13C NMR spectroscopy and compound-specific isotopic analyses.

{Made possible by the generous support of  James and Julie  Bockheim}