Understanding soil organic matter with complex systems science
The role of microbial turnover of soil organic matter (SOM) is central in the Earth’s carbon (C) cycle. However, its fundamental mechanism is not entirely understood. The EU-funded SomSOM project will investigate from the perspective of complex systems science. According to the complex systems theory, interactions between individuals at the micro level can lead to ‘self-organisation’ at the macro level. The system acquires new qualities that do not derive from the characteristics of the interacting individuals. However, if microbial decomposer systems are self-organised, they may present different behaviour than that expected under changing environmental circumstances. The project will investigate if the microbial decomposition of organic matter is conducted by self-organisation and what impact this has on soil C and nitrogen cycling.
Fields of science
Funding SchemeERC-COG - Consolidator Grant
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