Nine species cover crop mixture.

Study Reveals Plant Diversity Stabilizes Soil Temperature

A new study from Germany has revealed a natural solution to mitigate the effects of climate change, such as extreme weather events. Researchers from Leipzig University, the Friedrich Schiller University Jena, the German Centre for Integrative Biodiversity Research Halle-Jena-Leipzig (iDiv), and other research institutions have discovered that high plant diversity acts as a buffer against fluctuations in soil temperature. The findings were published in the journal Nature Geoscience. “This unprecedented analysis of long-term, high-resolution data provides compelling evidence that plant diversity acts as a natural buffer and provides stability in the face of climate extremes,” says lead study author Dr. Yuanyuan Huang. Throughout the 18-year period, plant diversity showed a remarkable ability to protect the soil from overheating in scorching heat and to help retain heat in colder periods. The researchers concluded that plant diversity can stabilize soil temperature throughout the year. The effects intensified as the experimental communities became older, and were even more pronounced under the harshest climate conditions, such as scorching hot days and dry years.