Long-term warming results in significant changes in respiration, community structure and microbial processes. The primary goal of this project is to separate molecular changes resulting from long-term warming from temperature effects of gene expression using samples just prior to the power returning and the week afterwards when the soil temperature is again 5°C higher than the control. These results will be used to address whether increasing global temperatures will result in a self-reinforcing positive feedback to the atmosphere through increasing respiration rates of the immense soil carbon stocks. Detailed knowledge of the temperature effect on organic matter decomposition will provide critical data for the DOE missions targeting alternative energy production and global carbon cycling and sequestration.
Proposer: Jeffrey Blanchard, University of Massachusetts-Amherst
Proposal: Molecular responses to a short-term temperature shift in a long-term soil warming experiment at Harvard Forest