Influence of soil depth, moisture, and plants on multi-omic features and carbon chemistry in a calcareous soil

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Many soils around the globe are losing carbon resulting in a reduction of soil fertility and increased fluxes of carbon dioxide to the atmosphere. Calcareous soils hold the potential to partially mitigate these losses by capture and storage of atmospheric carbon. Here, we aimed to determine how soil moisture and plants impact biotic and abiotic soil properties that underpin deep soil carbon chemistry. A combination of multi-omics and soil chemical analyses were applied to field soil samples up to one meter in depth. Unique microbial and metabolic features were associated with soil depth and with field treatment, including specific organic acids and lipids. These multi-omic properties were strongly correlated with the abiotic soil properties of soil pH, permanganate-oxidizable carbon, total nitrogen, and calcium concentrations. This study reveals that plant, mineral, and microbial interactions have a compounding interplay that govern how soil carbon changes in deep calcareous soils.

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