More replenishment than priming loss of soil organic carbon with additional carbon input

Junyi Liang, Zhenghu Zhou, Changfu Huo, Zheng Shi, James R. Cole, Lei Huang, Konstantinos T. Konstantinidis, Xiaoming Li, Bo Liu, Zhongkui Luo, C. Ryan Penton, Edward A.G. Schuur, James M. Tiedje, Ying Ping Wang, Liyou Wu, Jianyang Xia, Jizhong Zhou, Yiqi Luo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

77 Scopus citations


Increases in carbon (C) inputs to soil can replenish soil organic C (SOC) through various mechanisms. However, recent studies have suggested that the increased C input can also stimulate the decomposition of old SOC via priming. Whether the loss of old SOC by priming can override C replenishment has not been rigorously examined. Here we show, through data–model synthesis, that the magnitude of replenishment is greater than that of priming, resulting in a net increase in SOC by a mean of 32% of the added new C. The magnitude of the net increase in SOC is positively correlated with the nitrogen-to-C ratio of the added substrates. Additionally, model evaluation indicates that a two-pool interactive model is a parsimonious model to represent the SOC decomposition with priming and replenishment. Our findings suggest that increasing C input to soils likely promote SOC accumulation despite the enhanced decomposition of old C via priming.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number3175
JournalNature Communications
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 1 2018

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Chemistry
  • General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology
  • General Physics and Astronomy


Dive into the research topics of 'More replenishment than priming loss of soil organic carbon with additional carbon input'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this