The Microbial Processes Project at the Moscow Forest Sciences
Laboratory is part of a worldwide study on decomposition processes
in forest soils.
Decomposition rates in soil vary because of a
number of factors. Rates of decomposition directly affect soil
organic matter and may in turn affect a forest's productivity.
Through this study, scientists will monitor the
effects of disturbance on decomposition rates. By taking regular
measurements using the same methods in a variety of climates and
ecosystems, the data gathered will be more useful for comparison
than that of many previous studies. The resulting information
will help scientists find ways to minimize and counteract the
effects of forest use and management on decomposition processes.
The data will also be used in creating future mineral soil decomposition
Related studies are also focusing on forest biological
decomposition processes, how they affect soil organic matter,
and how they, in turn, affect a forest's vulnerability to insect
and disease attacks.
- Debbie Page-Dumroese,
Research Soil Scientist, Microbiology
Main Objectives of Study >