Effects of Climate Warming on Aboveground-Belowground Feedbacks in Terrestrial Ecosystems
Wednesday, August 12, 2015: 8:00 AM-11:30 AM
329, Baltimore Convention Center
Pamela H. Templer, Boston University
Rebecca Sanders-DeMott, Boston University
Interest in understanding the mechanisms controlling ecosystem function in terrestrial ecosystems has grown significantly in recent years, as these ecosystems have been increasingly recognized as a major, yet vulnerable sink for both carbon and nitrogen. Climate projections indicate that mean annual temperatures will warm throughout the globe over the next century. Increased temperatures are expected to affect many biological, geological, chemical, and meteorological processes that control ecosystem function. However, the impact of these changes on different components of terrestrial ecosystems will vary in intensity, timing, quantity and form. Therefore, these changes in climate will likely alter feedbacks between belowground and aboveground processes, which together will alter carbon exchange and nitrogen retention within terrestrial ecosystems.
Several recent studies have evaluated the effects of warmer temperatures on feedbacks between belowground and aboveground ecosystem functions that could add to our understanding of these key processes. Here we are leading an organized oral session at the 2015 Ecological Society of America meeting to bring together ecosystem-scale experiments and modeling efforts across a wide geographic range of ecosystem types. Together, these talks will show how empirical work and modeling efforts can inform each other to transform our thinking about the impacts of climate change on carbon exchange and nutrient retention. Through these topics, we will address questions about the effects of climate change on the biology and chemistry of terrestrial ecosystems.