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Title: Long-term pattern and magnitude of soil carbon feedback to the climate system in a warming world

Abstract

In a 26-year soil warming experiment in a mid-latitude hardwood forest, we documented changes in soil carbon cycling to investigate the potential consequences for the climate system. We found that soil warming results in a four-phase pattern of soil organic matter decay and carbon dioxide fluxes to the atmosphere, with phases of substantial soil carbon loss alternating with phases of no detectable loss. Several factors combine to affect the timing, magnitude, and thermal acclimation of soil carbon loss. These include depletion of microbially accessible carbon pools, reductions in microbial biomass, a shift in microbial carbon use efficiency, and changes in microbial community composition. Our results support projections of a long-term, self-reinforcing carbon feedback from mid-latitude forests to the climate system as the world warms.

Authors:
ORCiD logo; ORCiD logo; ORCiD logo; ORCiD logo; ORCiD logo; ; ORCiD logo; ORCiD logo;
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Marine Biological Laboratory, Woods Hole, MA (United States); Univ. of Massachusetts, Amherst, MA (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE Office of Science (SC)
OSTI Identifier:
1541686
DOE Contract Number:  
SC0010740; SC0016590
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Journal Name:
Science
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 358; Journal Issue: 6359; Journal ID: ISSN 0036-8075
Publisher:
AAAS
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
Science & Technology - Other Topics

Citation Formats

Melillo, J. M., Frey, S. D., DeAngelis, K. M., Werner, W. J., Bernard, M. J., Bowles, F. P., Pold, G., Knorr, M. A., and Grandy, A. S. Long-term pattern and magnitude of soil carbon feedback to the climate system in a warming world. United States: N. p., 2017. Web. doi:10.1126/science.aan2874.
Melillo, J. M., Frey, S. D., DeAngelis, K. M., Werner, W. J., Bernard, M. J., Bowles, F. P., Pold, G., Knorr, M. A., & Grandy, A. S. Long-term pattern and magnitude of soil carbon feedback to the climate system in a warming world. United States. doi:10.1126/science.aan2874.
Melillo, J. M., Frey, S. D., DeAngelis, K. M., Werner, W. J., Bernard, M. J., Bowles, F. P., Pold, G., Knorr, M. A., and Grandy, A. S. Thu . "Long-term pattern and magnitude of soil carbon feedback to the climate system in a warming world". United States. doi:10.1126/science.aan2874.
@article{osti_1541686,
title = {Long-term pattern and magnitude of soil carbon feedback to the climate system in a warming world},
author = {Melillo, J. M. and Frey, S. D. and DeAngelis, K. M. and Werner, W. J. and Bernard, M. J. and Bowles, F. P. and Pold, G. and Knorr, M. A. and Grandy, A. S.},
abstractNote = {In a 26-year soil warming experiment in a mid-latitude hardwood forest, we documented changes in soil carbon cycling to investigate the potential consequences for the climate system. We found that soil warming results in a four-phase pattern of soil organic matter decay and carbon dioxide fluxes to the atmosphere, with phases of substantial soil carbon loss alternating with phases of no detectable loss. Several factors combine to affect the timing, magnitude, and thermal acclimation of soil carbon loss. These include depletion of microbially accessible carbon pools, reductions in microbial biomass, a shift in microbial carbon use efficiency, and changes in microbial community composition. Our results support projections of a long-term, self-reinforcing carbon feedback from mid-latitude forests to the climate system as the world warms.},
doi = {10.1126/science.aan2874},
journal = {Science},
issn = {0036-8075},
number = 6359,
volume = 358,
place = {United States},
year = {2017},
month = {10}
}

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