A clarification of the aggregate structures of HS has represented a major innovation in humus chemistry. A model of soil humus as a supramolecular association of small molecules, originated from extended microbial degradation of different plant
Fig. 1.3 Computer simulation of the optimum conformational energy (in vacuo) of a hypothetical covalently linked humic polymer (MW = 6,326 Da) as hypothesized by Stevenson (1994). (a) Upper picture: humic polymer having an energy of 627.40 Kcal mol_1; (b) lower picture: humic polymer containing ten molecules of acetic acid and having an energy of 617.26 Kcal moP1
and animal biomolecules and assembled together by mainly hydrophobic forces strengthened by the hydrophobic effect, may well have implications on how we regard the phenomena of accumulation and decomposition of SOM. In fact, the new consensus on the supramolecular structure of HS has several implications for the control soil OM (Piccolo 2011, 2002).
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