Increased temperatures from climate change have been expected to speed decomposition of plant materials and the return of nitrogen to soils, making the soil more fertile for plants. But Jeff Dukes, an associate professor of forestry and natural resources at Purdue, found that the microbes responsible for returning nitrogen to soils react differently to a range of climate scenarios.
"More nitrogen being available is not something we can count on in all ecosystems," said Dukes, whose findings were published in the journal Global Change Biology.
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