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Biogeosciences An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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https://doi.org/10.5194/bg-2020-30
© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
https://doi.org/10.5194/bg-2020-30
© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Submitted as: reviews and syntheses 11 Feb 2020

Submitted as: reviews and syntheses | 11 Feb 2020

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This preprint is currently under review for the journal BG.

Soil responses to manipulated precipitation changes: A synthesis of meta-analyses

Akane O. Abbasi1, Alejandro Salazar2,3, Youmi Oh4, Sabine Reinsch5, Maria del Rosario Uribe1, Jianghanyang Li4, Irfan Rashid6, and Jeffrey S. Dukes1,2 Akane O. Abbasi et al.
  • 1Department of Forestry and Natural Resources, Purdue University,West Lafayette, 47907, USA
  • 2Department of Biological Sciences, Purdue University, West Lafayette, 47907, USA
  • 3Programa de Ciencias Básicas de la Biodiversidad, Instituto de Investigación de Recursos Biológicos Alexander von Humbold, Bogotá, 110311, Colombia
  • 4Department of Earth, Atmospheric, and Planetary Sciences, Purdue University, West Lafayette, 47907, USA
  • 5UK Centre for Ecology & Hydrology, Bangor, LL57 4TT, UK
  • 6Department of Botany, University of Kashmir, Srinagar, 190006, India

Abstract. In the face of ongoing and projected precipitation 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. We synthesize the findings of 16 meta-analyses focused on the effects of decreased and increased precipitation on 42 soil response variables, covering a wide range of soil processes and examining responses of individual variables as well as more integrative responses of carbon and nitrogen cycles. We found a strong agreement among meta-analyses that decreased and increased precipitation inhibits and promotes belowground carbon and nitrogen cycling, respectively, while microbial communities are relatively resistant to precipitation changes. 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, but the rates of processes underlying these variables are less frequently covered in meta-analytic studies (e.g., rates of mineralization, fixation, and de/nitrification). Shifting scientific attention to these “processes” would, therefore, deepen the current understanding of the effects of precipitation changes on soil and provide new insights. By comparing meta-analyses focused on different variables, we provide here a quantitative and holistic view of soil responses to changes in precipitation.

Akane O. Abbasi et al.

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Akane O. Abbasi et al.

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Soil responses to manipulated precipitation changes: A synthesis of meta-analysis A. O. Abbasi, A. Salazar, Y. Oh, S. Reinsch, M. del Rosario Uribe, J. Li, I. Rashid, and J. S. Dukes https://doi.org/10.4231/16NT-CW47

Akane O. Abbasi et al.

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Short summary
We synthesize the findings of 16 published meta-analyses on the effects of decreased and increased precipitation on soil, totaling 42 soil variables including soil carbon, nitrogen, and phosphorus cycling, microbial and fungal community, and soil stoichiometry. We also identify knowledge gaps and propose future research directions. Specifically, we show that more attention has been paid to fluxes and pools in nutrient cycles than to the rates of processes underlying these variables.
We synthesize the findings of 16 published meta-analyses on the effects of decreased and...
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