Research | Climate Change on the Tundra
Climate Change on the Tundra
Climate change models suggest that major shifts in carbon storage may occur, especially in northern latitudes where greater than 1/3 of the earth's carbon pool is stored. This project seeks to understand how microbial communities in Arctic tundra soils are changed by short (< 1 year) and long (> 20 years) term manipulation of nutrients and temperature at the Toolik Lake long term ecological research station in Alaska.
"Microbes are typically major controllers of how carbon is stored and released, so we're trying to understand how microbial communities are changed by nutrients and temperature at the Toolik Lake site over a long term of more than 20 years and a short term of less than one year," Campbell said. "There are basically two possibilities that we're trying to sort out, whether the community structure changes with increased temperature or nitrogen or whether the community stays the same, but is just more active in releasing carbon when conditions change."
Changes found in this study may also reflect past climate change events, allowing improved characterization of the geological record.