Monsoon Rainfall Manipulation Experiment (MRME)
The Monsoon Rainfall Manipulation Experiment (MRME) enables the quantification of changes in the structure and function of a semiarid grassland ecosystem that have been caused by increased rainfall variability. Variability in precipitation affects the timing and duration of the pulses of soil moisture that drive primary productivity, community composition, and ecosystem processes in semiarid grasslands.
It is predicted that changes in event size and variability will alter grassland productivity, ecosystem processes, and plant community dynamics. In particular, we predict that many small events will increase soil CO2 effluxes by stimulating microbial processes but not plant growth, whereas a small number of large events will increase aboveground NPP and soil respiration by providing sufficient deep soil moisture to sustain plant growth for longer periods of time during the summer monsoon.