Soil-Climate Feedbacks: Understanding the Controls and Ecosystem Responses of the Carbon Cycle Under a Changing Climate
MetadataShow full item record
Soil organic matter (SOM) decomposition and formation is an important climate feedback, with the potential to amplify or offset climate forcing. To understand the fate of soil carbon (C) stores and fluxes (i.e., soil respiration) under future climate it is necessary to investigate responses across spatial and temporal scales, from the ecosystem to the molecular level, from diurnal to decadal trends. Moreover, it is important to question the assumptions and paradigms that underlie apparently paradoxical evidence to reveal the true nature of soil-climate feedbacks. My dissertation includes research into the response of soil respiration in Pacific Northwest prairies to warming and wetting along a natural regional climate gradient (Chapter II), and then delves deeper into the mechanisms underlying SOM decomposition and formation, examining the temperature sensitivity of SOM decomposition of prairie soils that were experimentally warmed for ~2 yr, and a forest soil in which litter-inputs were manipulation for 20 yr (Chapter III), and finally testing soil C cycling dynamics, including mineral-associated C pools, decomposition dynamics, and the molecular nature of SOM itself, under litter-manipulation in order to understand the controls on SOM formation and mineralization (Chapter IV). This dissertation includes previously published and unpublished coauthored material; see the individual chapters for a list of co-authors, and description of contributions.