Globally, soil organic matter (SOM) contains more than three times as much carbon as either the atmosphere or terrestrial vegetation. Yet it remains largely unknown why some SOM persists for millennia whereas other SOM decomposes readily—and this limits our ability to predict how soils will respond to climate change. Recent analytical and experimental advances have… More

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The sagebrush-steppe ecosystem covers much of western North America, and its productivity is sensitive to warming and increasingly variable precipitation. Interannual variation in precipitation has been shown to be the most significant factor controlling biogeochemical cycling while both soil and atmospheric drought are dominant factors of ecosystem fluxes. We show that plant canopies can also… More

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