Skip to Main Content
Towards a predictive understanding of belowground process responses to climate change: have we moved any closer?Author(s): Elise Pendall; Lindsey Rustad; Josh Schimel
Source: Functional Ecology
Publication Series: Scientific Journal (JRNL)
Station: Northern Research Station
View PDF (343.0 KB)
DescriptionBelowground processes, including root production and exudation, microbial activity and community dynamics, and biogeochemical cycling interact to help regulate climate change. Feedbacks associated with these processes, such as warming-enhanced decomposition rates, give rise to major uncertainties in predictions of future climate. Uncertainties associated with these processes are more likely to be reduced if two key challenges can be met: increasing interdisciplinarity among researchers, and measuring belowground ecosystem structure and function at relevant spatial and temporal scales. For instance, recognizing the relationship between belowground primary production and soil respiration enhances modelling of global-scale C cycle temperature responses. At the opposite end of the spectrum, applying genomic techniques at the scale of microns improves mechanistic understanding of root–microbe interactions. Progress has been made in understanding interactions of belowground processes with climate change, although challenges remain. We highlight some of these advances and provide directions for key research needs in this Special Feature of Functional Ecology, which results from a symposium that was convened at the Soil Science Society of America National Meeting in November, 2006.
- Check the Northern Research Station web site to request a printed copy of this publication.
- Our on-line publications are scanned and captured using Adobe Acrobat.
- During the capture process some typographical errors may occur.
- Please contact Sharon Hobrla, email@example.com if you notice any errors which make this publication unusable.
- We recommend that you also print this page and attach it to the printout of the article, to retain the full citation information.
- This article was written and prepared by U.S. Government employees on official time, and is therefore in the public domain.
CitationPendall, Elise; Rustad, Lindsey; Schimel, Josh. 2008. Towards a predictive understanding of belowground process responses to climate change: have we moved any closer? Functional Ecology. 22(6): 937-940. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1365-2435.2008.01506.x.
Keywordssoil organic matter, soil respiration, microbial community, global change, global warming, carbon cycle, root, mycorrhiza, biogeochemical cycle
- Interpreting, measuring, and modeling soil respiration
- Meetings: Issues and recent advances in soil respiration
- Networking our science to characterize the state, vulnerabilities, and management opportunities of soil organic matter
XML: View XML