Natural and pyrogenic organic C and N in soils, function, fate, analytical challenges and how this relates to the concept of humic substances
Although the role of soil organic matter (SOM) for the ecosystem services and functions of soils as well as its importance as a C and N sink within the global C and N cycling is very well recognized, the understanding of the requirements for its sustainable maintenance is still scarce. This lack of knowledge is even bigger with respect to the impact of pyrogenic organic matter (PyOM) and biochars on SOM formation and turnover rates. In spite of increasing awareness of the close relationship between the N and C cycles, the role of this interrelationship for SOM dynamics is far from being well understood. In summary, it is evident that a better knowledge about the nature and functions of SOM is still required.
Therefore, the goal is to bring together researchers with different backgrounds but a common interest in the role of SOM in the global elemental cycles. With this, we are hoping to induce a fruitful discussion which include, but is not limited to subjects such as:
i) structural and functional aspects of SOM
ii) factors that affect SOM turnover
iii) the role of PyOM and SON in SOM dynamics
iv) new tools in SOM research