- A recent modeling study demonstrates how climate change impacts terrestrial carbon cycles.
- Changes in soil temperature and moisture impact global carbon emissions.
Study reveals how carbon is released from soil
In a modeling study published in Global Change Biology, ecologists from San Diego State University found that high microbial fluctuation in the soil leads to more carbon emissions as weather influences microbes in the soil such as bacteria and fungi. Microbes consume carbon as the source of energy. These microbes consume more carbon as they increase in quantity which results in more carbon emissions and vice versa. It is also a fundamental mechanism that helps control regional-climate interactions as well as below-ground soil biogeochemistry.
Predicting Climate-Carbon Interactions
Through the modeling study, Scientists discovered a way to reduce carbon emissions by keeping the microbial population at a constant level as different soil microbial groups play distinct roles in the carbon cycle. The finding advances soil microbial ecology and demonstrate the ecological significance of microbial seasonality and our understanding of soil carbon storage under changing climate conditions. Co-author and ecologist at San Diego State University, Chun-Ta Lai, says that the study demonstrates the need to incorporate microbial seasonality in earth system models to improve predictions of climate-carbon interactions.
Given the dynamics of land-use change around the world, researchers will now explore microbial seasonality and its impact on global carbon balance.