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Prospect Hill soil warming study. Snow melts first on the soil-warmed plots. Various measurements, such as soil respiration, net nitrogen mineralization, and carbon and nitrogen in leaves (collected in the laundry basket), allow us to examine nutrient cycling in a warmer world.

Soil Warming Studies at Harvard Forest

Increases in soil temperatures associated with global warming have the potential to accelerate soil organic matter decay and alter nutrient cycling patterns in forested ecosystems. By increasing soil temperatures we can explore the effects of global warming in our forests, we can examine ecosystem responses to warming and the resulting feedbacks to the climate system. At the Harvard Forest, a Long-Term Ecological Research (LTER) site in central Massachusetts, we have established soil warming studies in a range of forest types and soil conditions on various spatial and temporal scales examining the implications of global warming on different ecosystem processes.

Harvard Forest LTER Soil Warming Studies: