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How Mechanical Disturbances Affect Soil Respiration Rates in Urban Forests Five to Eleven Years After Development

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Title: How Mechanical Disturbances Affect Soil Respiration Rates in Urban Forests Five to Eleven Years After Development
Author: Gauvreau, Patrick
Department: School of Environmental Design and Rural Development
Program: Landscape Architecture
Advisor: Corry, Rob
Abstract: Urban forests are a valuable resource which provide ecological services and functions. The integrity of an urban forest patch can be affected long-term by soil disturbances associated with urban land development, such as: topsoil clearing and soil compaction. The purpose of this exploratory study is to analyze soil microbial activity of forested urban areas following land development with known disturbance histories. Three sites in Guelph, ON, with soil disturbance histories between 5 and 11 years ago were used to compare soil microbial activity. Soils from forests after mechanical disturbance and controls were measured for respiration rates in forest patches using a 24-hour soil CO2 test. Disturbed soils from 5, 7, and 11 years after disturbance had lower respiration values compared to controls. Impacted soil biology can be easily tested for and should be considered by landscape architects to plan for more resilient urban forests.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10214/10388
Date: 2017-05
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