CARBON - Biological Carbon in soils and living organisms

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  • Biological carbon
    • Soils
      • store between 20-30% of global carbon. soils sequester twice the amount of C as the atmosphere, and three times that of terrestrial vegetation.
      • the amount of carbon stored in soil depends on:
        • Climate - dictates the rate of plant growth and decomposition - increases with rainfall and temp increase.
        • Vegetation cover - affects the supply of dead organic matter (heaviest in tropical rainforests and least in tundra).
        • Soil type - clay protects carbon de-composition, so clay-rich soils are high in carbon content.
        • Land use - Cultivation and other forms of soil disturbance decreases carbon intake.
    • living organisms
      • the human body is around 18% carbon; carbon is synthesised into complex compounds such as fats, proteins, and nucleic acids.
      • in plants, CO2 and water are combined to form carbo-hydrates.


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