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Harvard Forest Data Archive

HF423

Soil Respiration at Forest Edges along an Urban to Rural Gradient in Massachusetts since 2018

Related Publications

Data

Overview

  • Lead: Sarah Garvey, Pamela Templer, Erin Pierce, Andrew Reinmann, Lucy Hutyra
  • Investigators:
  • Contact: Information Manager
  • Start date: 2018
  • End date: 2019
  • Status: ongoing
  • Location: Central Massachusetts, Eastern Massachusetts
  • Latitude: +42.21217 to +42.48042
  • Longitude: -72.50868 to -71.11603
  • Elevation: 45 to 285 meter
  • Taxa:
  • Release date: 2022
  • Revisions:
  • EML file: knb-lter-hfr.423.1
  • DOI: digital object identifier
  • EDI: data package
  • DataONE: data package
  • Related links:
  • Study type: short-term measurement
  • Research topic: soil carbon and nitrogen dynamics
  • LTER core area: organic matter, disturbance
  • Keywords: biogeochemistry, carbon, carbon dioxide, decomposition, land use, microbes, soil moisture, soil respiration, soil temperature, urban
  • Abstract:

    As urbanization and forest fragmentation increase around the globe, it is critical to understand how rates of respiration and carbon losses from soil carbon pools are affected by these processes. This study characterizes soils in fragmented forests along an urban to rural gradient, evaluating the sensitivity of soil respiration to changes in soil temperature and moisture near the forest edge. While previous studies found elevated rates of soil respiration at temperate forest edges in rural areas compared to the forest interior, we find that soil respiration is suppressed at the forest edge in urban areas. At urban sites, respiration rates are 25% lower at the forest edge relative to the interior, likely due to high temperature and aridity conditions near urban edges. While rural soils continue to respire with increasing temperatures, urban soil respiration rates asymptote as temperatures climb and soils dry. Soil temperature- and moisture-sensitivity modeling show that respiration rates in urban soils are less sensitive to rising temperatures than those in rural soils. Scaling these results to Massachusetts (MA), which encompasses 0.25 Mha of urban forest, we find that failure to account for decreases in soil respiration rates near urban forest edges leads to an overestimate of growing-season soil carbon fluxes of greater than 350,000 MgC. This difference is almost 2.5 times that for rural soils in the analogous comparison (underestimate of less than 143,000 MgC), even though rural forest area is more than four times greater than urban forest area in MA. While a changing climate may stimulate carbon losses from rural forest edge soils, urban forests may experience enhanced soil carbon sequestration near the forest edge. These findings highlight the need to capture the effects of forest fragmentation and land use context when making projections about soil behavior and carbon cycling in a warming and increasingly urbanized world.

    We provide soil respiration, soil temperature and soil volumetric water content (VWC) data collected from forest edge soils at 8 field sites in Massachusetts.

  • Methods:

    Field data collection

    This study was conducted along an urbanization gradient from urban Boston to rural central Massachusetts (MA). Eight field sites were established at forest edges in temperate, mixed-deciduous forests from May to June 2018. We characterized the degree of urbanization intensity surrounding each forest site using impervious surface area (ISA; MassGIS Data: Impervious Surface 2005, 2007), population density (US Census Bureau, 2010), and distance to Boston Common in downtown Boston (sensu Raciti et al., 2012), as well as whether the field site fell within the boundaries of a Census Designated Place (CDP) (US Census Bureau, 2021). Four sites were classified as rural and four as urban.

    At each of the eight sites, we established a single transect orthogonal to the forest edge (defined by the tree stem-line) and extending 90m into the forest interior. Along each transect, we installed a pair of PVC soil respiration collars at 0, 15, 30, 60, and 90m from the forest edge (n=10 collars per transect; 80 collars total). The field data provided in “hf423-01-field-data.csv” reflects the mean of the two replicates at each distance from the edge. Respiration collars were 20.2cm in diameter, mounted in the soil approximately 4cm deep and extending aboveground roughly 4cm. Soil respiration measurements were taken July 30 – October 29, 2018 and April 25 – November 8, 2019 using a LI-COR LI‐8100A soil respiration chamber system every two weeks between 08:00 and 17:00 local time. During early-spring and fall of 2019 (April, October, November), respiration measurements were taken every three weeks. The time of measurement was randomized across sites and distances from the edge, and measurements were not taken during precipitation events.

    Soil temperature and volumetric soil water content (VWC) were measured concurrently with soil respiration using hand-probes at 10cm and 7.6cm depth, respectively. Depending on instrument availability, these co-located measurements were taken with a Hanna Instruments Thermistor Thermometer and Field Scout TDR 150, respectively, or using LiCOR auxiliary probes.

    References

    MassGIS Data: Impervious Surface 2005. (2007, February). Mass.Gov. https://www.mass.gov/info-details/massgis-data-impervious-surface-2005

    Raciti, S. M., Hutyra, L. R., Rao, P., & Finzi, A. C. (2012). Inconsistent definitions of “urban” result in different conclusions about the size of urban carbon and nitrogen stocks. Ecological Applications, 22(3), 1015–1035. https://doi.org/10.1890/11-1250.1

    US Census Bureau. (2010). Total population, 2010 Census. https://data.census.gov/cedsci/table?q=population&g=8600000US01054,01604,02021,02131,02421,02459&y=2010&tid=DECENNIALSF12010.P1

    US Census Bureau. (2021, January 15). TIGER/Line Shapefile, 2017, state, Massachusetts, Current Place State-based. Data.Gov. https://catalog.data.gov/dataset/tiger-line-shapefile-2017-state-massachusetts-current-place-state-based

  • Use:

    This dataset is released to the public under Creative Commons CC0 1.0 (No Rights Reserved). Please keep the dataset creators informed of any plans to use the dataset. Consultation with the original investigators is strongly encouraged. Publications and data products that make use of the dataset should include proper acknowledgement.

  • Citation:

    Garvey S, Templer P, Pierce E, Reinmann A, Hutyra L. 2022. Soil Respiration at Forest Edges along an Urban to Rural Gradient in Massachusetts since 2018. Harvard Forest Data Archive: HF423 (v.1). Environmental Data Initiative: https://doi.org/10.6073/pasta/9df1903343144e49e5a9407f01d5ac3b.

Detailed Metadata

hf423-01: soil field data

  1. site: full name of site
  2. site_type: site classification (Urban, Rural)
  3. dfe: distance from forest edge (unit: meter / missing value: NA)
  4. DOY: day of year (1-365) measurement was taken (unit: nominalDay / missing value: NA)
  5. Year: year measurement was taken
  6. umol.m2.s_avg: mean soil respiration rate in umol of CO2 / m2 / second for a given distance from the edge. Reflects measurements from 2 collars (A&B replicates) at each distance from the edge (unit: micromolePerMeterSquaredPerSecond / missing value: NA)
  7. umol.m2.s_ste: standard error on the mean soil respiration rate in umol of CO2 / m2 / second for a given distance from the edge. Reflects measurements from 2 collars (A&B replicates) at each distance from the edge (unit: micromolePerMeterSquaredPerSecond / missing value: NA)
  8. Tsoil_C_avg: mean soil temperature in degrees Celsius for a given distance from the edge. Point measurements taken with hand probe concurrently with soil respiration measurement. Reflects measurements from 2 collars (A&B replicates) at each distance from the edge (unit: celsius / missing value: NA)
  9. Tsoil_C_ste: standard error on the mean soil temperature in degrees Celsius for a given distance from the edge. Point measurements taken with hand probe concurrently with soil respiration measurement. Reflects measurements from 2 collars (A&B replicates) at each distance from the edge (unit: celsius / missing value: NA)
  10. VWC_pct_avg: mean soil volumetric water content (m3 / m3, %) for a given distance from the edge. Point measurement taken with hand probe concurrently with soil respiration measurement. Reflects measurements from 2 collars (A&B replicates) at each distance from the edge (unit: dimensionless / missing value: NA)
  11. VWC_pct_ste: standard error on the mean soil volumetric water content (m3 / m3, %) for a given distance from the edge. Point measurement taken with hand probe concurrently with soil respiration measurement. Reflects measurements from 2 collars (A&B replicates) at each distance from the edge (unit: dimensionless / missing value: NA)