Carbon Content

Saturation level

Protection level

Protective capacity

Nonprotected

Biochemically protected

Microaggregate protected

Silt + clay protected

FIGURE 8.5. The protective capacity of soil (which governs the silt- and clay-protected carbon and microaggregate-protected carbon pools), the biochemically stabilized carbon pool, and the unprotected carbon pool define a maximum carbon content for soils. The pool size of each fraction is determined by its unique stabilizing mechanism (from Six et al., 2002a).

Nonprotected

Biochemically protected

Microaggregate protected

Silt + clay protected

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