Microbial processing of organic matter drives stability and pore geometry of soil aggregates

Sheikh M.F. Rabbi*, Budiman Minasny, Alex B. McBratney, Iain M. Young

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

49 Scopus citations


The formation and stability of aggregates are crucial for soil function. Here we seek to understand the influence of microbial processing on the formation of aggregates in a structurally homogeneous microcosm, treated with two different types of organic matter - glucose and cellulose. The results demonstrated that decomposition of organic matter triggered the formation of water stable macro-aggregates and the carbon (C) that cemented the aggregates was derived primarily from microbial source. The porosity and pore connectivity of the newly formed aggregates in the glucose amended soils provided evidence of the development of physically stable aggregates rendered by the cementation process.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number114033
StatePublished - Feb 15 2020

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We thank Ralph Faux, Technical Officer, School of Life and Environmental Sciences, University of Sydney, Australia for laboratory assistance during the work.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2019 Elsevier B.V.


  • Aliphatic
  • Aromatic
  • Cellulose
  • Glucose
  • Porosity
  • X-ray tomography

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Soil Science


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