OU Researcher Studies Climate Change Effects On Soil

By
WOUB Staff Writer

Dateline
Updated Wed, Sep 5, 2012 1:06 pm

An Ohio University researcher is studying the effects of climate change on soil in two Ohio forests.

OU scientist and professor Jared DeForest has received funding from the National Science Foundation for his research.
 
He says climate does not just encompass aspects like temperature, but includes natural processes that are caused by humans.   
 
"Climate also is things like acid rain. So, human activities can be altering the type of materials that fall down, that can effect life, plants, that has a cascading effect that also influences other animals and the ecosystem services they provide," said DeForest.
 
 DeForest is studying two forests: one in Athens that has old and weathered soils, and one in Northern Ohio that boasts younger soils. 
 
He says his goal is to determine how climate change differs based on the soil type.
 
"I'm actually finding that the soils we have down here are very sensitive to the acid rain, let's say, but the soils up north are very insensitive to these treatments," said DeForest.
 
The research has been in progress since 2009, and still has one year to go.
 
As DeForest has collected data, he says he hopes it can be used by policy makers as they decide how to develop forest regions in the state.
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