The soil microbial community fulfils various functions, such as nutrient cycling and carbon (C) sequestration, therefore contributing to maintenance of soil fertility and mitigation of global warming. In this context, a major focus of research has been on C, nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P) cycling. However, from aquatic and other environments, it is well known that other elements beyond C, N, and P are essential for microbial functioning. Nonetheless, for soil microorganisms this knowledge has not yet been synthesised. To gain a better mechanistic understanding of microbial processes in soil systems, we aimed at summarising the current knowledge on the function of a range of essential or beneficial elements, which may affect the efficiency of microbial processes in soil. This knowledge is discussed in the context of microbial driven nutrient and C cycling. Our findings may support future investigations and data evaluation, where other elements than C, N, and P affect microbial processes.
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