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Title: The whole-soil carbon flux in response to warming

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Publication Date:
Sponsoring Org.:
OSTI Identifier:
Grant/Contract Number:
299447; AC02-05CH11231
Resource Type:
Journal Article: Published Article
Journal Name:
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 355; Journal Issue: 6332; Related Information: CHORUS Timestamp: 2017-12-11 13:29:54; Journal ID: ISSN 0036-8075
American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS)
Country of Publication:
United States

Citation Formats

Hicks Pries, Caitlin E., Castanha, C., Porras, R. C., and Torn, M. S. The whole-soil carbon flux in response to warming. United States: N. p., 2017. Web. doi:10.1126/science.aal1319.
Hicks Pries, Caitlin E., Castanha, C., Porras, R. C., & Torn, M. S. The whole-soil carbon flux in response to warming. United States. doi:10.1126/science.aal1319.
Hicks Pries, Caitlin E., Castanha, C., Porras, R. C., and Torn, M. S. Thu . "The whole-soil carbon flux in response to warming". United States. doi:10.1126/science.aal1319.
title = {The whole-soil carbon flux in response to warming},
author = {Hicks Pries, Caitlin E. and Castanha, C. and Porras, R. C. and Torn, M. S.},
abstractNote = {},
doi = {10.1126/science.aal1319},
journal = {Science},
number = 6332,
volume = 355,
place = {United States},
year = {Thu Mar 09 00:00:00 EST 2017},
month = {Thu Mar 09 00:00:00 EST 2017}

Journal Article:
Free Publicly Available Full Text
Publisher's Version of Record at 10.1126/science.aal1319

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  • This paper describes the operational methods to achieve and measure both deep-soil heating (0–3 m) and whole-ecosystem warming (WEW) appropriate to the scale of tall-stature, high-carbon, boreal forest peatlands. The methods were developed to allow scientists to provide a plausible set of ecosystem-warming scenarios within which immediate and longer-term (1 decade) responses of organisms (microbes to trees) and ecosystem functions (carbon, water and nutrient cycles) could be measured. Elevated CO 2 was also incorporated to test how temperature responses may be modified by atmospheric CO 2 effects on carbon cycle processes. The WEW approach was successful in sustaining a widemore » range of aboveground and belowground temperature treatments (+0, +2.25, +4.5, +6.75 and +9 °C) in large 115 m 2 open-topped enclosures with elevated CO 2 treatments (+0 to +500 ppm). Air warming across the entire 10 enclosure study required ~90 % of the total energy for WEW ranging from 64 283 mega Joules (MJ) d –1 during the warm season to 80 102 MJ d –1 during cold months. Soil warming across the study required only 1.3 to 1.9 % of the energy used ranging from 954 to 1782 MJ d –1 of energy in the warm and cold seasons, respectively. The residual energy was consumed by measurement and communication systems. Sustained temperature and elevated CO 2 treatments were only constrained by occasional high external winds. This paper contrasts the in situ WEW method with closely related field-warming approaches using both aboveground (air or infrared heating) and belowground-warming methods. It also includes a full discussion of confounding factors that need to be considered carefully in the interpretation of experimental results. As a result, the WEW method combining aboveground and deep-soil heating approaches enables observations of future temperature conditions not available in the current observational record, and therefore provides a plausible glimpse of future environmental conditions.« less
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  • High altitude alpine meadows are experiencing considerably greater than average increases in soil surface temperature, potentially as a result of ongoing climate change. The effects of warming on plant productivity and soil edaphic variables have been established previously, but the influence of warming on soil microbial community structure has not been well characterized. Here, the impact of 15 months of soil warming (both + 1 and + 2 degrees C) on bacterial community structure was examined in a field experiment on a Tibetan plateau alpine meadow using bar-coded pyrosequencing. Warming significantly changed (P < 0.05) the structure of the soilmore » bacterial community, but the alpha diversity was not dramatically affected. Changes in the abundance of the Actinobacteria and Alphaproteobacteria were found to contribute the most to differences between ambient (AT) and artificially warmed conditions. A variance partitioning analysis (VPA) showed that warming directly explained 7.15% variation in bacterial community structure, while warming-induced changes in soil edaphic and plant phenotypic properties indirectly accounted for 28.3% and 20.6% of the community variance, respectively. Interestingly, certain taxa showed an inconsistent response to the two warming treatments, for example Deltaproteobacteria showed a decreased relative abundance at + 1 degrees C, but a return to AT control relative abundance at + 2 degrees C. This suggests complex microbial dynamics that could result from conditional dependencies between bacterial taxa.« less