Virginia Jin
FYH 251
Lincoln NE 68583-0937



Virginia Jin

USDA-ARS Research Soil Scientist

Area of Expertise:

B.S. Biology/English, Duke University, 1996

M.F.R. Forest Resources, University of Georgia, 2000

Ph.D. Plant Biology, University of Georgia, 2004

Research Interests

  • Soil microbial ecology
  • Carbon and nutrient cycling in agroecosystems
  • Management impacts on soil fertility, soil carbon storage, and greenhouse gas production
  • Using agricultural management to mitigate global climate change

Major Project Activities

  • Evaluating soil and yield impacts of corn stover removal in rainfed and irrigated systems
  • Impact of tillage, N fertilizer, irrigation, and cover crop management on soil greenhouse gas emissions and carbon storage in intensive continuous corn and corn-soybean systems
  • Effects of management on biomass yield, soil carbon, and microbially-mediated soil processes in annual and perennial biofuel feedstock production systems
  • Assessing impacts of plant diversity, N management, and altered precipitation regimes in monoculture and polyculture perennial biofuel feedstock production systems
  • Evaluating and modeling impacts on soil carbon, nitrogen mineralization, and emerging contaminants transport in beneficial reuse systems utilizing animal by-products and municipal biosolids
  • Effects of global change drivers (elevated atmospheric CO2, altered precipitation) on soil microbial communities and function in native and managed ecosystems


  • Derner J, Jin VL. 2012. Rangeland Management. In Managing Agricultural Greenhouse Gases. Eds. Liebig M, Franzluebbers AJ, Follett RF. Elsevier. San Diego, CA. In press.
  • Fay PA, Jin VL, Way DA, Potter KN, Gill RA, Jackson RB, Polley HW. 2012. Soil-mediated feedbacks of soil moisture and species change drive grassland productivity change from subambient to elevated CO2. Nature-Climate Change. Accepted 4/20/2012.
  • Fay PA, Polley HW, Jin VL, Aspinwall MJ. 2012. Productivity of well-watered Panicumvirgatum does not increase with CO2 enrichment. Journal of Plant Ecology. Published online 3/16/2012. doi: 10.1093/jpe/rts007.
  • Polley HW, Jin VL, Fay PA. Feedback from plant species change amplifies CO2 enhancement of grassland productivity. Global Change Biology. Accepted 20 Apr 2012.
  • Polley HW, Jin VL, Fay PA. 2012. CO2-caused changes in plant species composition rivals the shift in vegetation between mid-grass and tallgrass prairies. Global Change Biology 18: 700-710.
  • Adler PB, Seabloom E, Borer E, et al. 2011. Get over the hump: productivity does not predict local species richness. Science 333: 1750-1753.
  • Jin VL, Johnson M-VV, Haney RL, Arnold JG. 2011. Potential carbon and nitrogen mineralization in soils from a perennial forage production system amended with Class B biosolids. Agriculture, Ecosystems and Environment 141: 461-465.
  • Jin VL, Schaeffer SA, Ziegler SE, Evans RD. 2011. Soil water availability and microsite mediate fungal and bacterial phospholipid fatty acid biomarker abundances in Mojave Desert soils exposed to elevated atmospheric CO2, Journal of Geophysical Research 116: G02001, doi:10.1029/2010JG001564.
  • Polley HW, Fay PA, Jin VL, Combs GF. 2011. CO2 enrichment increases element concentrations in grass mixtures by changing species abundances. Plant Ecology 212: 945-957.
  • Wienhold BJ, Varvel GE, Jin VL. 2011. Corn cob residue carbon and nutrient dynamics during decomposition. Agronomy Journal 103:1192-1197.
  • Jin VL, Evans RD. 2010. Elevated CO2 increases plant uptake of organic and inorganic N in the desert shrub Larreatridentata. Oecologia 163: 257-266.
  • Jin VL, Evans RD. 2010. Microbial 13C utilization patterns via stable isotope probing of phospholipid biomarkers in Mojave Desert soils exposed to ambient and elevated atmospheric CO2. Global Change Biology 16: 2334-2344.
  • Jin VL, Romanek CS, Donovan LA, Sharitz RR. 2010. Soil nitrogen availability and in situ nitrogen uptake by Acer rubrum L. and Pinuspalustris Mill. in the southeastern U. S. Coastal Plain. The Journal of the Torrey Botanical Society 137: 339-347.
  • Fay PA, Kelley AM, Procter AC, Hui D, Jin VL, Jackson RB, Johnson HB, Polley HW. 2009. Primary productivity and water balance of grassland vegetation on three soils in a continuous CO2 gradient: Initial results from the Lysimeter CO2 Gradient Experiment. Ecosystems 12: 699-714.
  • Jin VL, Evans RD. 2007. Elevated CO2 increases microbial carbon substrate use and N cycling in Mojave Desert soils. Global Change Biology 13: 452-465.
  • Kang S, Doh S, Lee DS, Lee D, Jin VL, Kimball JS. 2003. Topographic and climatic controls on soil respiration in six temperate mixed-hardwood forests slopes, Korea. Global Change Biology 9: 1427-1437.
  • Jin VL, West LT, Haines BL, Peterson CJ. 2000. P retention in tropical pre-montane soils across forest-pasture interfaces. Soil Science 165: 881-889.
  • Richter DD, Markewitz D, Heine PR, Jin V, Raikes J, Tian K, Wells CG. 2000. Legacies of agriculture and forest regrowth in the nitrogen of old field soils. Forest Ecology and Management 138: 233-248.