Harvard Research Reveals Root Exudate Impact on Soil Carbon Storage

Researchers in the Department of Organismic and Evolutionary Biology at Harvard University published research in Nature Geoscience that advances understanding of how root exudates affect long-term soil carbon storage. The researchers were testing how root exudate changes as a result of increased atmospheric CO2 altered carbon storage in temperate hardwood forest soils. “You would think that if you increase the rate of root exudation you would increase carbon input into the soil forming more soil carbon,” explained lead author Nikhil R. Chari, “but we found instead an opposite effect that offset the increase in carbon.”