Response of Soil Properties and Soil Microbial Communities to the Projected Climate Change

  • Dibyendu Chatterjee
  • Saurav Saha


With the advancement of human civilization, anthropogenic emission of greenhouse gases induces climate change. Science has made significant development in evaluating the direct and indirect impacts of climate change on the most important natural resource, the soil. The variable magnitude of emitted GHG fluxes between the soil and the atmosphere is primarily sourced from soil microbial activity that is mostly regulated by the existing soil environment. Certain soil properties, fertilizer nutrient management, and water management practices influence the magnitude of soil GHG fluxes. This chapter focuses on the impact of changing climatic variables on the dynamics of carbon and other major nutrients and micronutrients and deals with the effect of climate change on the processes that alter their cycling and availability. The changing environmental variables will most likely impact on nutrient transformation in soil and also alter its plant availability dynamics. The nutrients like C and N are controlled by biological cycles and may show a different reaction to the changing climatic variables than the elements with cycles controlled both by geological and biological processes, such as P, S, and K, or elements with predominantly geologically controlled cycles, such as K, Ca, Mg, S, or micronutrients. In this chapter, we also review how the soil microbial community and the extracellular enzymes are affected by alteration of the climate. The diversity and composition of the aboveground plant community influences the soil microbial community through the supply, timing, and composition of residues and exudates. There are many reports showing evidence that environmental modifications (increase in temperature, elevated carbon dioxide, drought, excess moisture, etc.) significantly impact the abundance, diversity, and activity of soil biota. Besides, we briefly focus on how greenhouse gas emissions are influenced by different soil characteristics. We have highlighted the global carbon pools and soil carbon pools. Actually, soil organic carbon (SOC) pool is 20.99 Pg up to 30 cm depth and 63.19 Pg up to 150 cm depth of soils in India, and the highest SOC pool was observed in aridisols followed by inceptisols and alfisols. Understanding the characteristics of these pools helps to apprehend the global climate change more clearly. Even with the paucity in availability of literature, we have also discussed the effect of environmental modifications/change on soil physical properties. With the current knowledge regarding climate change, the adaptation and mitigation of the climate change are also addressed.


Carbon pools Climate change Climatic variables Greenhouse gas Soil biodiversity Soil enzymes Soil properties 


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Dibyendu Chatterjee
    • 1
    • 2
  • Saurav Saha
    • 3
  1. 1.ICAR Research Complex for NEH RegionNagaland CentreMedziphemaIndia
  2. 2.Present address: ICAR - National Rice Research InstituteCuttackIndia
  3. 3.Department of Agricultural PhysicsICAR Research Complex for NEH Region, Mizoram CentreKolasibIndia

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