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Microaggregates in soils

Title data

Totsche, Kai Uwe ; Amelung, Wulf ; Gerzabek, Martin H. ; Guggenberger, Georg ; Klumpp, Erwin ; Knief, Claudia ; Lehndorff, Eva ; Mikutta, Robert ; Peth, Stephan ; Prechtel, Annette ; Ray, Nadja ; Kögel-Knabner, Ingrid:
Microaggregates in soils.
In: Journal of Plant Nutrition and Soil Science. Vol. 181 (2018) Issue 1 . - pp. 104-136.
ISSN 1436-8730
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1002/jpln.201600451

Abstract in another language

All soils harbor microaggregates, i.e., compound soil structures smaller than 250 mm. Thesemicroaggregates are composed of diverse mineral, organic and biotic materials that are bound together during pedogenesis by various physical, chemical and biological processes. Consequently,microaggregates can withstand strong mechanical and physicochemical stresses andsurvive slaking in water, allowing them to persist in soils for several decades. Together with thephysiochemical heterogeneity of their surfaces, the three-dimensional structure of microaggregates provides a large variety of ecological niches that contribute to the vast biological diversity found in soils. As reported for larger aggregate units, microaggregates are composed of smaller building units that become more complex with increasing size. In this context, organo-mineral associations can be considered structural units of soil aggregates and as nanoparticulate fractions of the microaggregates themselves. The mineral phases considered to be the most importantas microaggregate forming materials are the clay minerals and Fe- and Al-(hydr)oxides.Within microaggregates, minerals are bound together primarily by physicochemical and chemicalinteractions involving cementing and gluing agents. The former comprise, among others, carbonatesand the short-range ordered phases of Fe, Mn, and Al. The latter comprise organic materials of diverse origin and probably involve macromolecules and macromolecular mixtures. Work on microaggregate structure and development has largely focused on organic matter stability and turnover. However, little is known concerning the role microaggregates play in the fate of elements like Si, Fe, Al, P, and S. More recently, the role of microaggregates in the formation ofmicrohabitats and the biogeography and diversity of microbial communities has been investigated.Little is known regarding how microaggregates and their properties change in time, which strongly limits our understanding of micro-scale soil structure dynamics. Similarly, only limited information is available on the mechanical stability of microaggregates, while essentially nothing is known about the flow and transport of fluids and solutes within the micro- and nanoporousmicroaggregate systems. Any quantitative approaches being developed for the modeling of formation, structure and properties of microaggregates are, therefore, in their infancy.We respond tothe growing awareness of the importance of microaggregates for the structure, properties andfunctions of soils by reviewing what is currently known about the formation, composition and turnoverof microaggregates. We aim to provide a better understanding of their role in soil function, and to present the major unknowns in current microaggregate research. We propose a harmonized concept for aggregates in soils that explicitly considers the structure and build-up of microaggregates and the role of organo-mineral associations. We call for experiments, studies and modeling endeavors that will link information on aggregate forming materials with their functional properties across a range of scales in order to better understand microaggregate formation and turnover.

Further data

Item Type: Article in a journal
Refereed: Yes
Additional notes: BAYCEER151493
Institutions of the University: Research Institutions
Research Institutions > Research Centres
Research Institutions > Research Centres > Bayreuth Center of Ecology and Environmental Research- BayCEER
Faculties > Faculty of Biology, Chemistry and Earth Sciences > Department of Earth Sciences > Chair Soil Ecology
Faculties > Faculty of Biology, Chemistry and Earth Sciences > Department of Earth Sciences > Chair Soil Ecology > Chair Soil Ecology - Univ.-Prof. Dr. Eva Lehndorff
Result of work at the UBT: No
DDC Subjects: 500 Science
500 Science > 550 Earth sciences, geology
Date Deposited: 22 Jan 2020 08:26
Last Modified: 22 Jan 2020 08:26
URI: https://eref.uni-bayreuth.de/id/eprint/53952