Tracing black carbon in soil using SEM/EDX, biomarker analyses, and compound-specific radiocarbon analyses
S. Brodowski (1), P. M. Grootes (2), W. Zech (3), W. Amelung (1)

Mollisols are known to contain stable, black humus components which originate from
charred or coal-derived particles. As such black carbon (BC) significantly affects soil
fertility and interferes with models on soil organic matter dynamics, an accurate prediction of BC input into soils and an elucidation of the mechanisms of BC turnover
is essential. The main aims of this study were (i) to identify the sources of BC in the


Building a black soil
C.I. Czimczik (1) and C.A. Masiello (2)

Black carbon (BC) is a major fraction (up to 35%, depending on methods used) of
soil organic carbon (SOC) in some of the most fertile and extensively cropped soils
of the world (Mollisols, Andisols, Terra Preta de Indio). Although BC is produced via
biomass burning in many ecosystems, it accumulates as a component of SOC in only
a few. Soils enriched in BC are not necessarily found in areas with the highest fire frequencies (savannah) or with the largest black carbon production (woody vegetation).

Subscribe to Mollisols