Fig. 3.3.7. Schematic representation of microbial recycling of plant substances from leaf litter and the formation of decomposition products, which bind to clay minerals. The figure shows a number of substances, such as carbohydrates, that remain a long time in the cycle and are passed from one generation of microorganisms to the next. Only a proportion is mineralised to the level of C02. Stabilisation of organic carbon is only through binding with clay minerals or heavy metals. (After Schulze 2000 a)
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