The Harvard Forest Experimental Warming Plots
The Harvard Forest Long Term Ecological Research site in Petersham, MA is home to long-term experimental soil warming sites where our current field work is based. The oldest of these warming sites was established by Jerry Melillo in 1991 to measure the effects of global warming by running cables 10 cm under the forest floor and heating the soil 5° C above the control plot temperature throughout the year. After 25 years of continuous warming there has been a measurable changes increase in the flux of carbon dioxide from carbon in the soil to the atmosphere through increase microbial respiration. This has been accompanied by changes in soil chemistry, the microbial communities and the forest plants.