Nutrients in soil directly related to microbial activity

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In California, microbial metabolism, nutrient availability, and soil carbon cycling rates were found to be intricately linked together in a study of wetlands and rice fields. Using metagenomic sequencing of soil samples, biogeochemical characterization and weekly greenhouse gas emission measurements, they found that in the restored wetlands, how fast or slow microbes break down the soil is directly linked to how much carbon, nitrogen and phosphorus is in the soil, with phosphorus being more crucial in the process than originally thought.

Wetlands are being studied by the U.S. DOE to better understand microbial communities and their impact on carbon emissions and sequestration.