The geometry of soil pores (size, shape and connectivity) control key soil processes such as water movement and retention and nutrient cycling. Plants and microbes affect soil aggregation and, by extension, pore structure. Therefore, processes affecting the biotic component of the soil such as soil management and climate (i.e., precipitation regime and/or temperature) will impact the structure of soil pores. The effect of soil management and/or land use on soil structure has been studied for decades and there is abundant literature covering different soil and management types. On the other hand, the effect of climate is less understood and is likely to become an important subject in the coming decades due to anticipated changes in precipitation and carbon dioxide concentration in the atmosphere. This project will concentrate on investigating changes of soil pore structure along natural climatic gradients or in soils sampled in long-term experiments where one or more climatological variable was altered. We expect that results from this project will help formulate better models of soil processes, including models of soil hydraulic properties.
|Effective start/end date||1/20/16 → 9/30/20|