Soil Organic Matter Processing with Warming in the Moist Boreal Forests of Eastern Canada
Understanding how the vast reservoir of soil organic carbon in boreal systems will respond to warming is critical for predicting future climate. As the boreal forests of eastern North America warm, their relatively moist soil profiles likely will experience significantly higher rates of organic matter decomposition. However, it remains unclear how various microbial communities--each associated with key biogeochemical functions--will respond to warming, and how these responses will influence the decomposition of different organic compounds. To address these issues, we are conducting field and laboratory incubations of boreal forest soils along a climate transect in eastern Canada, in collaboration with Dr. Susan Ziegler at Memorial University of Newfoundland and the Canadian Forest Service.