Managing soil health in an organic food production system under changing climate
PI: Debjani Sihi
Total Funding: $4,000
Brief description of the project:
Ecosystem functions provided by soil are often influenced by the vulnerability of soil organic carbon against microbial decomposition. Environmental conditions (temperature and water content) are known to alter the vulnerability of soil organic carbon. We are evaluating the vulnerability of soil organic carbon in an organic food production system (Oxford College Organic Farm at Emory) under warmer and dryer climatic conditions using a laboratory manipulation experiment. We are manipulating temperature (control and warming conditions) and water content (control and drying conditions) using a laboratory microcosm study because the future climate is expected to be warmer and dryer in Georgia and the rest of the South East USA. We are adding universally labeled glucose (D-Glucose-6-13C) to soils incubated in the laboratory and tracking down the fate of added carbon in the soil matrix (i.e., soil organic carbon) and its loss through the gaseous (carbon dioxide release) and dissolved (dissolved organic carbon) forms.