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Abstract

Elevation gradients are an excellent tool that allow scientists to investigate the impacts of temperature change within a single system. While the effects of elevation on aboveground plant communities have been well studied, the effects on microbially-mediated ecosystem function remain unclear. Here, we review how belowground ecosystem processes are affected both directly by temperature variation and indirectly through plant functional trait differences across elevation. A better understanding of the mechanisms that drive belowground ecosystem function will enable more accurate predictions of how ecosystems as a whole will respond to climate change.

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