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The Relationship Between Climate Variability and Soil Element Concentration Across Climate Regions in the United States

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Global temperature and precipitation variability not only has profound impacts on biota; but, recent studies have shown changing climate has produced significant changes in nutrient cycling and soil chemistry. This study examines the elemental concentrations of Al, Ca, K, Fe, and total C within four different climate regions across the United States (Northeast, Northern Plains/ Rockies, Southeast, and West) and compares the elemental concentrations in soil horizon A to precipitation and atmospheric temperature data from the U.S. Climate Data database. All elemental concentrations were obtained from the USGS. Results from the correlation tests showed that only one element (total C) had a significant relationship with temperature. Total C concentration had a significant negative relationship with temperature (p-value= 0.0267, r=-0.49). All of the other elements no relationship with temperature and a positive correlation (Al: p-value=0.2243, r=-0.28; Ca: p-value=0.9378, r=; Fe: p-value=0.1127, r=-0.37; K: p-value= 0.2495, r=-0.27). Correlation tests results for element concentration vs. total annual precipitation found that all elements had a significant relationship. However, only total Carbon had a significant positive correlation (p-value=1.48E-02 r=0.54). The remaining element concentrations all had significant negative relationships (Al: p-value=6.06E-06 r=-0.83; Ca: p-value=3.82E-05, r=-0.79; Fe: p-value=0.000374, r=-0.72; K: p-value= 7.25E-06, r=-0.83). Studies determining the relationships between elemental concentrations in soils and climate variability are becoming increasingly important for agriculture, groundwater protection, flood prevention, and are of critical importance to many of Earth’s ecosystems.

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The Relationship Between Climate Variability and Soil Element Concentration Across Climate Regions in the United States

Global temperature and precipitation variability not only has profound impacts on biota; but, recent studies have shown changing climate has produced significant changes in nutrient cycling and soil chemistry. This study examines the elemental concentrations of Al, Ca, K, Fe, and total C within four different climate regions across the United States (Northeast, Northern Plains/ Rockies, Southeast, and West) and compares the elemental concentrations in soil horizon A to precipitation and atmospheric temperature data from the U.S. Climate Data database. All elemental concentrations were obtained from the USGS. Results from the correlation tests showed that only one element (total C) had a significant relationship with temperature. Total C concentration had a significant negative relationship with temperature (p-value= 0.0267, r=-0.49). All of the other elements no relationship with temperature and a positive correlation (Al: p-value=0.2243, r=-0.28; Ca: p-value=0.9378, r=; Fe: p-value=0.1127, r=-0.37; K: p-value= 0.2495, r=-0.27). Correlation tests results for element concentration vs. total annual precipitation found that all elements had a significant relationship. However, only total Carbon had a significant positive correlation (p-value=1.48E-02 r=0.54). The remaining element concentrations all had significant negative relationships (Al: p-value=6.06E-06 r=-0.83; Ca: p-value=3.82E-05, r=-0.79; Fe: p-value=0.000374, r=-0.72; K: p-value= 7.25E-06, r=-0.83). Studies determining the relationships between elemental concentrations in soils and climate variability are becoming increasingly important for agriculture, groundwater protection, flood prevention, and are of critical importance to many of Earth’s ecosystems.