Carbon storage 

Globally, there is more carbon in soils than in the atmosphere and the aboveground biomass
together. Plants extract carbon dioxide from the atmosphere by photosynthesis and 
incorporate it in their cell structures. This carbon then enters the soil as root exudates from 
living plants, which are utilized by soil organisms, or by decomposition of plant litter. These 
processes release carbon dioxide back to the atmosphere. They are more or less rapid 
depending on climate, soil type, land use, and management practices. Since carbon dioxide 
is a greenhouse gas, increasing soil organic matter stocks in soil is considered as a possible 
solution to mitigate climate change. Soil organic matter has also beneficial effects on soil 
fertility, water retention, susceptibility to erosion, and diversity and activity of soil organisms.