Globally, soil organic matter (SOM) contains more than three times as much carbon as either the atmosphere or terrestrial vegetation. Yet it remains largely unknown why some SOM persists for millennia whereas other SOM decomposes readily—and this limits our ability to predict how soils will respond to climate change. Recent analytical and experimental advances have… More

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Insect outbreaks are major disturbances that affect a land area similar to that of forest fires across North America. The recent mountain pine bark beetle (D endroctonus ponderosae) outbreak and its associated blue stain fungi (Grosmannia clavigera) are impacting water partitioning processes of forests in the Rocky Mountain region as the spatially heterogeneous disturbance spreads… More

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Quantifying impacts of ecological disturbance on ecosystem carbon and water fluxes will improve predictive understanding of biosphere—atmosphere feedbacks. Tree mortality caused by mountain pine bark beetles (Dendroctonus ponderosae) is hypothesized to decrease photosynthesis and water flux to the atmosphere while increasing respiration at a rate proportional to mortality. This work uses data from an eddy-covariance… More

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