Navigation Links
Deforestation of sandy soils a greater climate threat
Date:4/1/2014

Deforestation may have far greater consequences for climate change in some soils than in others, according to new research led by Yale University scientists a finding that could provide critical insights into which ecosystems must be managed with extra care because they are vulnerable to biodiversity loss and which ecosystems are more resilient to widespread tree removal.

In a comprehensive analysis of soil collected from 11 distinct U.S. regions, from Hawaii to northern Alaska, researchers found that the extent to which deforestation disturbs underground microbial communities that regulate the loss of carbon into the atmosphere depends almost exclusively on the texture of the soil. The results were published in the journal Global Change Biology.

"We were astonished that biodiversity changes were so strongly affected by soil texture and that it was such an overriding factor," said Thomas Crowther, a postdoctoral fellow at the Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies and lead author of the study. "Texture overrode the effects of all the other variables that we thought might be important, including temperature, moisture, nutrient concentrations, and soil pH."

The study is a collaboration among Yale researchers and colleagues at the University of Boulder, Colorado and the University of Kentucky.

A serious consequence of deforestation is extensive loss of carbon from the soil, a process regulated by subterranean microbial diversity. Drastic changes to the microbial community are expected to allow more CO2 to escape into the atmosphere, with the potential to exaggerate global warming.

Specifically, the researchers found that deforestation dramatically alters microbial communities in sandy soils, but has minimal effects in muddy, clay-like soils, even after extensive tree removal.

According to the researchers, particles in fine, clay-like soil seem to have a larger surface area to bind nutrients and water. This capacity might buffer soil microbes against the disturbance of forest removal, they said. In contrast, sandy soils have larger particles with less surface area, retaining fewer nutrients and less organic matter.

"If you disrupt the community in a sandy soil, all of the nutrients the microbes rely on for food are leached away: they're lost into the atmosphere, lost into rivers, lost through rain," Crowther said. "But in clay-like soil, you can cut down the forest and the nutrients remain trapped tightly in the muddy clay."

The researchers also examined how the effects of deforestation on microbial biodiversity change over time. Contrary to their expectations, they found no correlation, even over the course of 200 years.

"The effects are consistent, no matter how long ago deforestation happened," Crowther said. "In a clay soil, you cut down the forest and the nutrients are retained for long periods of time and the community doesn't change. Whereas in a sandy soil, you cut down a forest and the community changes dramatically within only a couple of years."

Using previously documented information about soil distribution, the researchers were able to map potential areas where belowground ecosystems are more likely to be vulnerable to deforestation. This has the potential to inform land management practices concerned with the conservation of biodiversity and the sequestration of carbon in the soil.


'/>"/>

Contact: Kevin Dennehy
kevin.dennehy@yale.edu
203-436-4842
Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies
Source:Eurekalert  

Related biology news :

1. Time, place and how wood is used are factors in carbon emissions from deforestation
2. Deforestation in the Amazon equals net losses of diversity for microbial communities
3. Amazon deforestation brings loss of microbial communities
4. More logging, deforestation may better serve climate in some areas
5. Sandy beaches, hydrocarbon reservoirs, tectonic tilting: Its all about geology
6. Post-Sandy, Long Island barrier systems appear surprisingly sound
7. Rising carbon dioxide in atmosphere also speeds carbon loss from forest soils, IU-led research finds
8. Plants and soils could exacerbate climate change as global climate warms
9. Warmer soils release additional CO2 into atmosphere; Effect stabilizes over longer term
10. Soils in newly forested areas store substantial carbon that could help offset climate change
11. Scientists uncover the secret life of frozen soils
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
Deforestation of sandy soils a greater climate threat
(Date:1/21/2016)... India , January 21, 2016 ... According to a new market research report "Emotion Detection ... and Others), Software Tools (Facial Expression, Voice Recognition ... Regions - Global forecast to 2020", published by ... is expected to reach USD 22.65 Billion by ...
(Date:1/18/2016)... Calif. , Jan. 18, 2016  Extenua ... software that simplifies the use and access of ... and go-to-market partnership with American Cyber.  ... brings extensive experience leading transformational C4ISR and Cyber ... and integrating the latest proven technology solutions," said ...
(Date:1/11/2016)... Jan. 11, 2016 Synaptics Incorporated (NASDAQ: ... today announced that its ClearPad ® TouchView ™ ... won two separate categories in the 8 th ... Best Technology Breakthrough. The Synaptics ® TDDI solution ... supply chain, thinner devices, brighter displays and borderless designs. ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:2/3/2016)... COPENHAGEN, Denmark , Feb. 3, 2016 ... stage biotechnology company that applies its innovative TransCon technology ... to present at an upcoming investor conference.Event:2016 Leerink Partners ... York, NY Date:  , Wednesday, February 10, 2016 Time:  ... --> www.ascendispharma.com . --> An audio ...
(Date:2/3/2016)... 3, 2016 New Jersey Health Foundation (NJHF) ... million for researchers in New Jersey ... that demonstrates exciting potential.   James ... the New Jersey Health Foundation Research Grant Program ... educational institutions— Princeton University, Rutgers University, Rowan University ...
(Date:2/3/2016)... ... February 03, 2016 , ... ... series of potential targets (epitopes) specific to misfolded, propagating strains of Amyloid beta ... specific monoclonal antibody therapeutics for Alzheimer’s. , Following on from the first misfolded ...
(Date:2/3/2016)... (PRWEB) , ... February 03, 2016 , ... ... events annual report which summarizes and analyzes nearly 750 unique supply ... monitoring, alert, and analysis service. , Supply chain risk management practitioners subscribe ...
Breaking Biology Technology: