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Heavy metal pollution can result in a significant reduction of soil organic carbon. However, the microbial mechanisms that connect heavy metal contamination to SOC are still unclear. We found SOC stocks and microbial carbon pump capacity under moderate and heavy pollution limits, which were significantly lower than those under controlled, cordon, and light pollution conditions after assessing the heavy metal pollution level based on Grade II of the national soil environmental quality standard. With a higher pollution level, there was a greater risk of reduction of microbial residue carbon in soil at a faster rate than the rate of reduction of SOC. In correlation analysis, lower MCP toxicity was correlated with SOC stability at a higher pollution level, suggesting that lower MCP effectiveness was correlated with SOC stability. As MCP effectiveness can be a useful measure of SOC stability, the strong correlation between MCP efficacy and clay content was a significant predictor of SOC stability.
Source link: https://doi.org/10.1007/s42832-022-0140-8
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