Soil Organic Matter in Mediterranean-Type Ecosystems and Global Climatic Changes: A Case Study—The Soils of the Mediterranean Basin

  • P. Bottner
  • M. M. Coûteaux
  • V. R. Vallejo
Part of the Ecological Studies book series (ECOLSTUD, volume 117)


On a worldwide basis, the soil organic carbon pool is around two to three times the amount of carbon stored in the atmosphere and two to three times that stored in the terrestrial biomass (Bohn, 1982; Rozanov, 1990; Scharpenseel and Becker-Heidmann, 1990). The sensitivity of Soil organic matter (SOM) to climate change raises two essential questions. Are the soils going to be a source or a sink of atmospheric CO2 in direct or indirect responses to the predicted physical or chemical climate change? The SOM is the major regulating factor of nutrient availability in the ecosystem; therefore the second question is to know to what extent the climate changes will modify the stabilization- mineralization balance of the nutrients by modifying the SOM turnover rates.


Soil Organic Matter Soil Organic Carbon Mediterranean Basin Litter Quality Carbon Density 
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© Springer-Verlag New York, Inc. 1995

Authors and Affiliations

  • P. Bottner
  • M. M. Coûteaux
  • V. R. Vallejo

There are no affiliations available

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