Soil development, carbon stocks and dynamics of carbon pools in urban soils
Urban soils pose a unique challenge for ecosystem restoration: they are highly degraded and lack structure, organic matter, and nutrients, all of which limits plant growth and establishment. While these soil conditions might inhibit initial plant establishment, we lack a clear understanding of how urban soils develop over time, and the consequences for plant growth. In this study, the REU intern will examine the temporal development of soil structure and carbon stocks using two indicators of successful soil development: soil aggregation and aggregate carbon content. These analyses will be undertaken on archived soil samples (years 0-10) and fresh soil cores (current year). The results will be used to answer the question: how do abiotic ecosystem properties change over time in restored urban soils, and does this influence soil carbon sequestration?