The Influence of Canopy-Mediated Hydrologic Fluxes and Understory Microclimate on Soil Properties
Precipitation as a vital component of nutrient in forest ecosystems passes through the forest canopy as throughfall. Garrigues assessed the temporal variation in throughfall during the winter season, measuring soil nutrient composition and respiration, and determining the relationship between throughfall and soil properties. Her results determined that throughfall partitioning as a percentage of total precipitation increased exponentially with increased rainfall. She attributed this trend to the canopy saturation and intensity of rainfall. Throughfall remains low until saturation occurs, which happens during heavy or long rainfall events. She also found that the litter layer contained 31.5 percent carbon, which is likely due to nutrients stored within pine needles and hardwood leaves. She noted carbon content decreased markedly with the soil horizon. She determined that nitrogen levels were relatively low and also decreased with depth in the horizon. She noted that soil respiration decreased in the winter season when the temperature was lower. Dr. Courtney Siegert, assistant professor the Department of Forestry in the College and Forest Resources and researcher in the Forest and Wildlife Research Center; Dr. John Riggins, associate professor in the Department of Biochemistry, Molecular Biology, Entomology and Plant Pathology in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences; and Dr. Natalie Clay, postdoctoral research associate also in the Department of Biochemistry, Molecular Biology, Entomology and Plant Pathology, helped facilitate and assist with Garrigues' research.
News / Recognition
Undergraduate Research Symposium
Katherine Abell, a wildlife, fisheries, and aquaculture major, and Zachary Senneff, a forestry major, were among the winners of the 2014 MSU Undergraduate Research Symposium. Abell placed first in the community engagement and social sciences categories and Senneff placed second in the biological sciences and engineering category.