Biogeochemistry

  • Article
    | Open Access

    Earth’s carbon cycle and oceanic magnesium cycle are controlled by processes such as weathering, volcanism and precipitation of carbonates, such as dolomite. Here, the authors contradict the view that modern dolomite formation is rare and suggest instead that dolomite accounts for ~40–60% of the global oceanic Mg output in the last 20 Ma.

    • Netta Shalev
    • , Tomaso R. R. Bontognali
    • , C. Geoffrey Wheat
    •  & Derek Vance
  • Article
    | Open Access

    The contribution of symbiotic dinitrogen fixation to the forest carbon sink could change throughout forest succession. Here the authors model nitrogen cycling and light competition between trees based on data from Panamanian forest plots, showing that fixation contributes substantially to the carbon sink in early successional stages.

    • Jennifer H. Levy-Varon
    • , Sarah A. Batterman
    • , David Medvigy
    • , Xiangtao Xu
    • , Jefferson S. Hall
    • , Michiel van Breugel
    •  & Lars O. Hedin
  • Article
    | Open Access

    It remains challenging to estimate carbon accumulation rates in tidal wetlands on a scale as large as the conterminous US. Here, the authors find that mean C accumulation rates vary greatly among watershed regions but not among vegetation types, and that tidal wetlands’ C sequestration capability will remain or increase by 2100, suggesting a resilience to sea level rise.

    • Faming Wang
    • , Xiaoliang Lu
    • , Christian J. Sanders
    •  & Jianwu Tang
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Iron is critical for fueling marine primary productivity, but its concentration is often vanishingly low in the ocean. Here, the authors show that though icebergs serve as vehicles delivering the largest supply of iron to polar oceans, the amount of iron they carry varies widely.

    • Mark J. Hopwood
    • , Dustin Carroll
    • , Juan Höfer
    • , Eric P. Achterberg
    • , Lorenz Meire
    • , Frédéric A. C. Le Moigne
    • , Lennart T. Bach
    • , Charlotte Eich
    • , David A. Sutherland
    •  & Humberto E. González
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Deciphering the origin, age, and composition of deep marine organic carbon remains a challenge for understanding the dynamics of the marine carbon cycle. Here, the authors identify (sub)micron-sized graphite emanating from both high and low temperature hydrothermal vents along the East Pacific Rise, and suggest graphite is a source of old carbon in the deep ocean.

    • Emily R. Estes
    • , Debora Berti
    • , Nicole R. Coffey
    • , Michael F. Hochella Jr.
    • , Andrew S. Wozniak
    •  & George W. Luther III
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Global soil carbon dynamics are regulated by the modification of soil organic matter (SOM) decomposition by plant carbon input (priming effect). Here, the authors collect soil data along a 2200 km grassland transect on the Tibetan Plateau and find that SOM stability is the major control on priming effect.

    • Leiyi Chen
    • , Li Liu
    • , Shuqi Qin
    • , Guibiao Yang
    • , Kai Fang
    • , Biao Zhu
    • , Yakov Kuzyakov
    • , Pengdong Chen
    • , Yunping Xu
    •  & Yuanhe Yang
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Mycorrhizas—mutualistic relationships formed between fungi and most plant species—are functionally linked to soil carbon stocks. Here the authors map the global distribution of mycorrhizal plants and quantify links between mycorrhizal vegetation patterns and terrestrial carbon stocks.

    • Nadejda A. Soudzilovskaia
    • , Peter M. van Bodegom
    • , César Terrer
    • , Maarten van’t Zelfde
    • , Ian McCallum
    • , M. Luke McCormack
    • , Joshua B. Fisher
    • , Mark C. Brundrett
    • , Nuno César de Sá
    •  & Leho Tedersoo
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Rivers are thought to be the largest source of the recalcitrant and abundant black carbon in the ocean. Here, Wagner and colleagues find distinct pools of black carbon between rivers and the open ocean, challenging the long-held assumption that marine black carbon is of terrestrial origin.

    • Sasha Wagner
    • , Jay Brandes
    • , Robert G. M. Spencer
    • , Kun Ma
    • , Sarah Z. Rosengard
    • , Jose Mauro S. Moura
    •  & Aron Stubbins
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Banded iron formations could have formed in the early oceans due to microbial metabolism. Here Dodd and colleagues find little organic carbon in these formations, indicating microbial iron cycling was minimal and could have limited the recycling of important nutrients to overlying waters.

    • Matthew S. Dodd
    • , Dominic Papineau
    • , Franco Pirajno
    • , Yusheng Wan
    •  & Juha A. Karhu
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Forest soil is known to be a source of the greenhouse gas N2O, but the impact of what is planted in that soil has long been overlooked. Here Machacova and colleagues quantify seasonal N2O fluxes from common boreal tree species in Finland, finding that all trees are net sources of this gas.

    • Katerina Machacova
    • , Elisa Vainio
    • , Otmar Urban
    •  & Mari Pihlatie
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Current projections on rice production do not consider the coupled stresses of impending climate change and the toxin arsenic in paddy soils. Here, the authors examined potential compounding impacts of soil arsenic and a changing climate on rice production and show that climate-induced changes in soil arsenic behaviour and plant response will lead to currently unforeseen losses in paddy rice grain productivity and quality.

    • E. Marie Muehe
    • , Tianmei Wang
    • , Carolin F. Kerl
    • , Britta Planer-Friedrich
    •  & Scott Fendorf
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Iron is crucial for marine photosynthesis, but observational constraints on the magnitude of key iron cycle processes are lacking. Here the authors use a range of observational data sets to demonstrate that the balance between iron re-supply and removal in the subsurface controls upper ocean iron limitation.

    • Alessandro Tagliabue
    • , Andrew R. Bowie
    • , Timothy DeVries
    • , Michael J. Ellwood
    • , William M. Landing
    • , Angela Milne
    • , Daniel C. Ohnemus
    • , Benjamin S. Twining
    •  & Philip W. Boyd
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Nitrogen mineralisation (Nmin), an important index of soil fertility, is often determined in the laboratory, with an uncertain relationship to Nmin under field conditions. Here the authors show that combining laboratory measurements with environmental data greatly improves predictions of field Nmin at a global scale.

    • A. C. Risch
    • , S. Zimmermann
    • , R. Ochoa-Hueso
    • , M. Schütz
    • , B. Frey
    • , J. L. Firn
    • , P. A. Fay
    • , F. Hagedorn
    • , E. T. Borer
    • , E. W. Seabloom
    • , W. S. Harpole
    • , J. M. H. Knops
    • , R. L. McCulley
    • , A. A. D. Broadbent
    • , C. J. Stevens
    • , M. L. Silveira
    • , P. B. Adler
    • , S. Báez
    • , L. A. Biederman
    • , J. M. Blair
    • , C. S. Brown
    • , M. C. Caldeira
    • , S. L. Collins
    • , P. Daleo
    • , A. di Virgilio
    • , A. Ebeling
    • , N. Eisenhauer
    • , E. Esch
    • , A. Eskelinen
    • , N. Hagenah
    • , Y. Hautier
    • , K. P. Kirkman
    • , A. S. MacDougall
    • , J. L. Moore
    • , S. A. Power
    • , S. M. Prober
    • , C. Roscher
    • , M. Sankaran
    • , J. Siebert
    • , K. L. Speziale
    • , P. M. Tognetti
    • , R. Virtanen
    • , L. Yahdjian
    •  & B. Moser
  • Article
    | Open Access

    The loss of anomalous sulfur isotope compositions from sedimentary rocks has been considered a symptom of permanent atmospheric oxygenation. Here the authors show sulfur and oxygen isotope evidence from < 2.31 Ga sedimentary barium sulphates (barites) from the Turee Creek Basin, W. Australia, demonstrating the influence of local non-atmospheric processes on anomalous sulfur isotope signals.

    • B. A. Killingsworth
    • , P. Sansjofre
    • , P. Philippot
    • , P. Cartigny
    • , C. Thomazo
    •  & S. V. Lalonde
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Freshwater systems are important components of the carbon cycle, but the extent of their role in CO2 fluxes is poorly understood. Here Horgby and colleagues show that mountain streams are a surprisingly large source of CO2 to the atmosphere, with annual emissions that belie their spatial extent.

    • Åsa Horgby
    • , Pier Luigi Segatto
    • , Enrico Bertuzzo
    • , Ronny Lauerwald
    • , Bernhard Lehner
    • , Amber J. Ulseth
    • , Torsten W. Vennemann
    •  & Tom J. Battin
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Diatoms drive biogeochemical cycling of aluminum by incorporating this element into their shells, but this process has not been quantified in freshwater systems. Here the authors quantify diatom-mediated aluminum fluxes in lakes and determine that they rival the aluminum sink in the global ocean.

    • Dong Liu
    • , Peng Yuan
    • , Qian Tian
    • , Hongchang Liu
    • , Liangliang Deng
    • , Yaran Song
    • , Junming Zhou
    • , Dusan Losic
    • , Jieyu Zhou
    • , Hongzhe Song
    • , Haozhe Guo
    •  & Wenxiao Fan
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Fractured rocks of impact craters have been suggested to be suitable hosts for deep microbial communities on Earth, and potentially other terrestrial planets, yet direct evidence remains elusive. Here, the authors show that the Siljan impact structure is host to long-term deep methane-cycling microbial activity.

    • Henrik Drake
    • , Nick M. W. Roberts
    • , Christine Heim
    • , Martin J. Whitehouse
    • , Sandra Siljeström
    • , Ellen Kooijman
    • , Curt Broman
    • , Magnus Ivarsson
    •  & Mats E. Åström
  • Review Article
    | Open Access

    Swarms of crustaceans called krill dominate Antarctic ecosystems, yet their influence on biogeochemical cycles remains a mystery. Here Cavan and colleagues review the role of krill in the Southern Ocean, and the impact of the krill fishery on ocean fertilisation and the carbon sink.

    • E. L. Cavan
    • , A. Belcher
    • , A. Atkinson
    • , S. L. Hill
    • , S. Kawaguchi
    • , S. McCormack
    • , B. Meyer
    • , S. Nicol
    • , L. Ratnarajah
    • , K. Schmidt
    • , D. K. Steinberg
    • , G. A. Tarling
    •  & P. W. Boyd
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Iron fertilisation of the high latitude oceans is a well-established biological mechanism to explain the ice age drawdown of atmospheric CO2, yet modelling has so far struggled to account for a sufficient drawdown via this mechanism. Here, the authors propose that N2 fixers, which inhabit the lower latitude ocean, made a significant contribution to CO2 drawdown and so amplified the global response to iron fertilisation during ice ages.

    • Pearse J. Buchanan
    • , Zanna Chase
    • , Richard J. Matear
    • , Steven J. Phipps
    •  & Nathaniel L. Bindoff
  • Article
    | Open Access

    The ocean emits the greenhouse gas methane, but its vastness renders estimations challenging. Here the authors use machine learning to map global ocean methane fluxes, finding a disproportionate contribution from shallow coastal waters, and a link between primary production and methane cycling.

    • Thomas Weber
    • , Nicola A. Wiseman
    •  & Annette Kock
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Marine chemistry during the Early Earth (over 2.7 billion years ago) is commonly inferred to have been inorganically sulfate-reducing. Here, the authors argue that organic sulfur cycling may have played a previously unrecognized, yet important, role in the formation of ancient Archean marine sulfides.

    • Mojtaba Fakhraee
    •  & Sergei Katsev
  • Article
    | Open Access

    The Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum (c. 55 million years ago) was a period associated with massive carbon injection into the atmosphere, yet discrepancies in carbon isotope proxy records have led to substantial uncertainties in the source, scale, and timing of carbon emissions. Here, the authors propose that membrane lipids of marine planktonic archaea can reliably record the carbon isotope excursion and surface ocean warming, giving a new constraint for the source and size of the PETM carbon emissions.

    • Felix J. Elling
    • , Julia Gottschalk
    • , Katiana D. Doeana
    • , Stephanie Kusch
    • , Sarah J. Hurley
    •  & Ann Pearson
  • Article
    | Open Access

    The oceanic magnesium cycle is closely linked to Earth’s carbon cycle and long-term climate change, due to processes such as continental weathering and authigenic mineral formation. Here, the authors update the global oceanic magnesium budget by quantifying the flux of magnesium from oceans to marine sediments and the associated isotopic fractionation.

    • Richard D. Berg
    • , Evan A. Solomon
    •  & Fang-Zhen Teng
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Microbes venturing onto land could have impacted biogeochemical cycles billions of years before terrestrial plants, but insight into this process on ancient Earth has remained elusive. With the discovery and analysis of microbial mats analogous to those of the Precambrian, Finke and colleagues infer how these microbial jungles likely shaped ecology and climate.

    • N. Finke
    • , R. L. Simister
    • , A. H. O’Neil
    • , S. Nomosatryo
    • , C. Henny
    • , L. C. MacLean
    • , D. E. Canfield
    • , K. Konhauser
    • , S. V. Lalonde
    • , D. A. Fowle
    •  & S. A. Crowe
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Some dams produce large amounts of GHGs and it is important to see whether future dams will satisfy sustainable energy goals. Here the authors estimate the range of GHG emission intensities expected for 351 proposed and 158 existing Amazon dams and find that existing Amazon hydropower reservoirs collectively emit 14 Tg CO2eq per year, and that if all proposed Amazon dams are built, annual emissions would increase 5-fold.

    • Rafael M. Almeida
    • , Qinru Shi
    • , Jonathan M. Gomes-Selman
    • , Xiaojian Wu
    • , Yexiang Xue
    • , Hector Angarita
    • , Nathan Barros
    • , Bruce R. Forsberg
    • , Roosevelt García-Villacorta
    • , Stephen K. Hamilton
    • , John M. Melack
    • , Mariana Montoya
    • , Guillaume Perez
    • , Suresh A. Sethi
    • , Carla P. Gomes
    •  & Alexander S. Flecker
  • Article
    | Open Access

    There lacks systematic analysis on the importance of vegetation structural change in the global terrestrial carbon cycle. Here the authors conducted a multi-model comparison analysis and find that the increase in leaf area index has been responsible for 12.4% of the accumulated terrestrial carbon sink from 1981 to 2016.

    • Jing M. Chen
    • , Weimin Ju
    • , Philippe Ciais
    • , Nicolas Viovy
    • , Ronggao Liu
    • , Yang Liu
    •  & Xuehe Lu
  • Article
    | Open Access

    There was extensive degradation during the warm middle Holocene and permafrost area was reduced substantially. Here the authors synthesize data across the Tibetan permafrost region and find that paleoclimate is more important than modern climate in shaping current permafrost carbon distribution, and its importance increases with soil depth.

    • Jinzhi Ding
    • , Tao Wang
    • , Shilong Piao
    • , Pete Smith
    • , Ganlin Zhang
    • , Zhengjie Yan
    • , Shuai Ren
    • , Dan Liu
    • , Shiping Wang
    • , Shengyun Chen
    • , Fuqiang Dai
    • , Jinsheng He
    • , Yingnian Li
    • , Yongwen Liu
    • , Jiafu Mao
    • , Altaf Arain
    • , Hanqin Tian
    • , Xiaoying Shi
    • , Yuanhe Yang
    • , Ning Zeng
    •  & Lin Zhao
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Although many neuropsychiatric risk genes are known to contribute to epigenetic regulation of gene expression, very little is known about specific chromatin-associated mechanisms that govern the formation and maintenance of neuronal connectivity. Here, the authors report that transcallosal connectivity is critically dependent on C11orf46/ARL14EP, a nuclear protein encoded in the chromosome 11p13 WAGR risk locus, and that RNA-guided epigenetic editing of hyperexpressed Sema6a gene promoters in C11orf46-knockdown neurons resulted in normalization of expression and rescue of transcallosal dysconnectivity via repressive chromatin remodeling.

    • Cyril J. Peter
    • , Atsushi Saito
    • , Yuto Hasegawa
    • , Yuya Tanaka
    • , Mohika Nagpal
    • , Gabriel Perez
    • , Emily Alway
    • , Sergio Espeso-Gil
    • , Tariq Fayyad
    • , Chana Ratner
    • , Aslihan Dincer
    • , Achla Gupta
    • , Lakshmi Devi
    • , John G. Pappas
    • , François M. Lalonde
    • , John A. Butman
    • , Joan C. Han
    • , Schahram Akbarian
    •  & Atsushi Kamiya
  • Perspective
    | Open Access

    The role of Blue Carbon in climate change mitigation and adaptation has now reached international prominence. Here the authors identified the top-ten unresolved questions in the field and find that most questions relate to the precise role blue carbon can play in mitigating climate change and the most effective management actions in maximising this.

    • Peter I. Macreadie
    • , Andrea Anton
    • , John A. Raven
    • , Nicola Beaumont
    • , Rod M. Connolly
    • , Daniel A. Friess
    • , Jeffrey J. Kelleway
    • , Hilary Kennedy
    • , Tomohiro Kuwae
    • , Paul S. Lavery
    • , Catherine E. Lovelock
    • , Dan A. Smale
    • , Eugenia T. Apostolaki
    • , Trisha B. Atwood
    • , Jeff Baldock
    • , Thomas S. Bianchi
    • , Gail L. Chmura
    • , Bradley D. Eyre
    • , James W. Fourqurean
    • , Jason M. Hall-Spencer
    • , Mark Huxham
    • , Iris E. Hendriks
    • , Dorte Krause-Jensen
    • , Dan Laffoley
    • , Tiziana Luisetti
    • , Núria Marbà
    • , Pere Masque
    • , Karen J. McGlathery
    • , J. Patrick Megonigal
    • , Daniel Murdiyarso
    • , Bayden D. Russell
    • , Rui Santos
    • , Oscar Serrano
    • , Brian R. Silliman
    • , Kenta Watanabe
    •  & Carlos M. Duarte
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Black carbon produced by the burning of biomass and fuels is the most stable carbon compound in nature, yet its path from land to the deep ocean where it persists for thousands of years remains mysterious. Here Coppola and colleagues characterize the black carbon exported by the Amazon River, the largest river in the world.

    • Alysha I. Coppola
    • , Michael Seidel
    • , Nicholas D. Ward
    • , Daniel Viviroli
    • , Gabriela S. Nascimento
    • , Negar Haghipour
    • , Brandi N. Revels
    • , Samuel Abiven
    • , Matthew W. Jones
    • , Jeffrey E. Richey
    • , Timothy I. Eglinton
    • , Thorsten Dittmar
    •  & Michael W. I. Schmidt
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Understanding mechanisms of soil organic matter (SOM) decomposition and stabilisation improves soil-climate feedback predictions. Here the authors show that roots in boreal forest promote organic nitrogen economy and provide a framework on how roots affect decomposition and stabilisation of SOM.

    • Bartosz Adamczyk
    • , Outi-Maaria Sietiö
    • , Petra Straková
    • , Judith Prommer
    • , Birgit Wild
    • , Marleena Hagner
    • , Mari Pihlatie
    • , Hannu Fritze
    • , Andreas Richter
    •  & Jussi Heinonsalo
  • Article
    | Open Access

    The mechanisms that determine the composition of nitrogen gas emissions from soil remain unclear. A biocrust mechanistic model was developed to resolve puzzling dynamics of nitrous acid and ammonia emissions from drying soil pointing to previously unknown microscale pH zonation in thinning water films that affect soil biogeochemical fluxes.

    • Minsu Kim
    •  & Dani Or
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Silver nanoparticles are known environmental contaminants, however it is unclear whether they arise in soils through natural processes, anthropogenic processes, or both. Here Huang and colleagues offer fresh insight into the natural formation of these contaminants by soil particulate organic matter exposed to solar irradiation.

    • Ying-Nan Huang
    • , Ting-Ting Qian
    • , Fei Dang
    • , Yong-Guang Yin
    • , Min Li
    •  & Dong-Mei Zhou
  • Review Article
    | Open Access

    Ice sheets have long been overlooked as regulators of the global carbon cycle. In this Review, Wadham and colleagues show how the growth and retreat of ice sheets support the productivity of the oceans and variably store or release organic carbon–in effect, these frozen landscapes must be considered in future assessments of climate impacts on biogeochemical cycling.

    • J. L. Wadham
    • , J. R. Hawkings
    • , L. Tarasov
    • , L. J. Gregoire
    • , R. G. M. Spencer
    • , M. Gutjahr
    • , A. Ridgwell
    •  & K. E. Kohfeld
  • Article
    | Open Access

    The sensitivity of soil organic carbon (SOC) in subsoil (below 0.3 m) to climate change is poorly constrained. Here, the authors map global subsoil (0.3–1 m soil layer) SOC turnover times and find that temperature and in general climate effects are secondary to effects due to soil properties at both local and global scales—this now needs to be regarded for diagnosing subsoil SOC dynamics.

    • Zhongkui Luo
    • , Guocheng Wang
    •  & Enli Wang
  • Article
    | Open Access

    How the water use efficiency of trees changes with atmospheric CO2 variations has mostly been studied on short time scales. Here, a newly compiled data set covering 1915 to 1995 shows how rates of change in water use efficiency vary with location and rainfall over the global tropics on a decadal scale.

    • Mark A. Adams
    • , Thomas N. Buckley
    •  & Tarryn L. Turnbull
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Tropical land ecosystems contain vast carbon reservoirs, but their influence on atmospheric CO2 is poorly understood. Here the authors use new carbon-observing satellites to reveal a large emission source over northern tropical Africa, where there are large soil carbon stores and substantial land use changes.

    • Paul I. Palmer
    • , Liang Feng
    • , David Baker
    • , Frédéric Chevallier
    • , Hartmut Bösch
    •  & Peter Somkuti
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Microbial respiration releases carbon from the soil. Here, the authors estimate bacterial carbon use efficiency in soils for over 200 species using constraint-based modeling, incorporate the values into an ecosystem model, and find that shifts in community composition may impact carbon storage.

    • Mustafa Saifuddin
    • , Jennifer M. Bhatnagar
    • , Daniel Segrè
    •  & Adrien C. Finzi
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Ocean acidification is expected to have a negative impact on calcifying organisms, however, our understanding of the acclimation potential of corals in their natural habit is currently limited. Here, the authors find that scleractinian corals living in high pCO2 conditions cannot fully adapt the chemistry of their internal calcifying fluid compared to corals growing in ambient conditions.

    • M. Wall
    • , J. Fietzke
    • , E. D. Crook
    •  & A. Paytan
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Low manganese availability could be a major control of phytoplankton growth in the Southern Ocean. Here the authors identify proteomic signatures of low manganese and iron availability in phytoplankton cultures and detect those signatures in Antarctic field samples.

    • Miao Wu
    • , J. Scott P. McCain
    • , Elden Rowland
    • , Rob Middag
    • , Mats Sandgren
    • , Andrew E. Allen
    •  & Erin M. Bertrand
  • Review Article
    | Open Access

    Subseafloor microbial activities are central to global biogeochemical cycles, affecting Earth’s surface oxidation, ocean chemistry, and climate. Here the authors review present understanding of subseafloor microbes and their activities, identify research gaps, and recommend approaches to fill those gaps.

    • Steven D’Hondt
    • , Robert Pockalny
    • , Victoria M. Fulfer
    •  & Arthur J. Spivack
  • Article
    | Open Access

    The global ecological predictors of soil priming remain unclear. Here the authors conducted a global survey of soils from 86 global locations using an isotopic approach and find that in more mesic sites with high SOC concentrations, soil priming effects are more likely to be negative.

    • Felipe Bastida
    • , Carlos García
    • , Noah Fierer
    • , David J. Eldridge
    • , Matthew A. Bowker
    • , Sebastián Abades
    • , Fernando D. Alfaro
    • , Asmeret Asefaw Berhe
    • , Nick A. Cutler
    • , Antonio Gallardo
    • , Laura García-Velázquez
    • , Stephen C. Hart
    • , Patrick E. Hayes
    • , Teresa Hernández
    • , Zeng-Yei Hseu
    • , Nico Jehmlich
    • , Martin Kirchmair
    • , Hans Lambers
    • , Sigrid Neuhauser
    • , Víctor M. Peña-Ramírez
    • , Cecilia A. Pérez
    • , Sasha C. Reed
    • , Fernanda Santos
    • , Christina Siebe
    • , Benjamin W. Sullivan
    • , Pankaj Trivedi
    • , Alfonso Vera
    • , Mark A. Williams
    • , José Luis Moreno
    •  & Manuel Delgado-Baquerizo
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Prior to the expansion of life on to land, abiotic weathering may have resulted in different boundary conditions affecting the composition of the biosphere. Here the authors studied clay minerals from a Precambrian rock record to reveal the weathering processes and find difference in weathering produced minerals preserved in the Mesoproterozoic Velkerri Formation.

    • Mehrnoush Rafiei
    •  & Martin Kennedy
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Global average, geographical distribution and temporal variations of the 13C isotopic signature of enteric fermentation emissions are not well understood. Here the authors established a global dataset and show a larger emission increase between the two periods (2002–2006 and 2008–2012) than previous studies.

    • Jinfeng Chang
    • , Shushi Peng
    • , Philippe Ciais
    • , Marielle Saunois
    • , Shree R. S. Dangal
    • , Mario Herrero
    • , Petr Havlík
    • , Hanqin Tian
    •  & Philippe Bousquet
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Soils in the northern permafrost region contain large quantities of organic carbon, formed over long time scales under cold climates. Here the authors test a number of soil properties and show that soil organic carbon is the dominant factor controlling thermal diffusivity among 200 sites in high latitude regions.

    • Dan Zhu
    • , Philippe Ciais
    • , Gerhard Krinner
    • , Fabienne Maignan
    • , Albert Jornet Puig
    •  & Gustaf Hugelius
  • Article
    | Open Access

    The processes driving soil carbon accretion remain to be poorly understood. Here the authors combined X-ray micro-tomography and zymography to demonstrate that plant-stimulated soil pore formation is a major, hitherto unrecognized, determinant of whether new C inputs are stored or lost to the atmosphere.

    • A. N. Kravchenko
    • , A. K. Guber
    • , B. S. Razavi
    • , J. Koestel
    • , M. Y. Quigley
    • , G. P. Robertson
    •  & Y. Kuzyakov
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Competition dynamics between early Earth photosynthetic microorganisms are unclear. Here, the authors demonstrate that competition for light and nutrients between oxygenic phototrophs and Fe-based photosynthesizers in surface oceans provides a novel ecophysiological mechanism for the protracted oxygenation of Earth’s atmosphere.

    • Kazumi Ozaki
    • , Katharine J. Thompson
    • , Rachel L. Simister
    • , Sean A. Crowe
    •  & Christopher T. Reinhard