Reviews and syntheses: Soil responses to manipulated precipitation changes – an assessment of meta-analyses

Abbasi, Akane O.; Salazar, Alejandro; Oh, Youmi; Reinsch, Sabine; del Rosario Uribe, Maria; Li, Jianghanyang; Rashid, Irfan; Dukes, Jeffrey S.. 2020 Reviews and syntheses: Soil responses to manipulated precipitation changes – an assessment of meta-analyses. Biogeosciences, 17 (14). 3859-3873.

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In the face of ongoing and projected climatic changes, precipitation manipulation experiments (PMEs) have produced a wealth of data about the effects of precipitation changes on soils. In response, researchers have undertaken a number of synthetic efforts. Several meta-analyses have been conducted, each revealing new aspects of soil responses to precipitation changes. Here, we conducted a comparative analysis of the findings of 16 meta-analyses focused on the effects of precipitation changes on 42 soil response variables, covering a wide range of soil processes. We examine responses of individual variables as well as more integrative responses of carbon and nitrogen cycles. We find strong agreement among meta-analyses that belowground carbon and nitrogen cycling accelerate under increased precipitation and slow under decreased precipitation, while bacterial and fungal communities are relatively resistant to decreased precipitation. Much attention has been paid to fluxes and pools in carbon, nitrogen, and phosphorus cycles, such as gas emissions, soil carbon, soil phosphorus, extractable nitrogen ions, and biomass. The rates of processes underlying these variables (e.g., mineralization, fixation, and (de)nitrification) are less frequently covered in meta-analytic studies, with the major exception of respiration rates. Shifting scientific attention to these less broadly evaluated processes would deepen the current understanding of the effects of precipitation changes on soil and provide new insights. By jointly evaluating meta-analyses focused on a wide range of variables, we provide here a holistic view of soil responses to changes in precipitation.

Item Type: Publication - Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI):
UKCEH and CEH Sections/Science Areas: Soils and Land Use (Science Area 2017-)
ISSN: 1726-4170
Additional Information. Not used in RCUK Gateway to Research.: Open Access paper - full text available via Official URL link.
NORA Subject Terms: Agriculture and Soil Science
Date made live: 11 Aug 2020 13:50 +0 (UTC)

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