Current Research in EEPS Seminar: Markus Kleber – Oregon State University
Abstract Title: Carbon oxidation state and the bioenergetics of soil organic matter decomposition
The mechanisms governing the decomposition of organic matter are of continued interest to the scientific community. Historically, some forms of organic matter have been assumed
to possess the property of “intrinsic resistance” to decomposition, and this property has frequently been used to explain the slow decomposition of such compounds.
I will introduce a number of theoretical and logical considerations to show that the idea of “recalcitrant” organic matter has conceptual flaws that render it problematic as a mechanistic concept.
To illustrate this point, I will introduce some recent insights into the relationship between the bioenergetics status of organic carbon (measured as Nominal Oxidation State of the Carbon) and the ease or difficulty to decompose a given organic compound. I will further show how microbial carbon use efficiency is influenced by the same parameter and offer a tentative description of the