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It is critical to gain insight into the responses of forest soils to the changing climate. We simulated future climate conditions with growing season throughfall reduction (by 50%) and winter snow removal using a paired-plot design across a soil drainage class gradient at three upland, Populus-dominated forests in northern Minnesota, USA. In situ bulk soil respiration and concentrations of extractable soil N were measured during the summers of 2020–2021. Soil respiration and N concentrations were not affected by throughfall reduction and snow removal, which was largely attributed to the limited treatment effects on soil moisture content and soil temperature. Drainage class was only a significant factor during the spring thaw period in 2021. During this period, the poorly drained plots had lower respiration rates compared to the well-drained plots, which was associated with the drainage class effects on soil temperature. The results of the companion laboratory incubation with varying levels of soil moisture also indicated no effect of the treatment on soil respiration, but effects of drainage class and moisture content on respiration were observed. Our results indicate that the combined effects of reduced summer and winter precipitation on soil respiration and N dynamics may be limited across the range of conditions that occurred in our study.
Stockstad, A. B., R. A. Slesak, A. J. Toczydlowski, C. R. Blinn, R. K. Kolka, and S. D. Sebestyen. 2022. Limited effects of precipitation manipulation on soil respiration and inorganic N concentrations across soil drainage classes in northern Minnesota aspen forests. Forests 13:1194.