Journal of Food, Agriculture and Environment

Vol 12, Issue 1,2014
Online ISSN: 1459-0263
Print ISSN: 1459-0255

Partitioning of soil respiration in a trenching experiment in the sub-alpine forests of China


Shuzheng Luo 1, 2, Guohua Liu 1 *, Zongshan Li 1

Recieved Date: 2013-11-29, Accepted Date: 2014-01-23


In order to measure soil respiration (RS) and quantify percentage contributions from its different components, no litter plots, control plots and no litter-no root plots were established in a secondary birch forest and a primary fir forest in China. Soil CO2 efflux was measured with a Li-Cor 8100 (Li-Cor, Nebraska, USA) portable infrared gas analyser in June, 2010 and in July and September, 2011. Our results showed that the mean soil respiration rate was 2.84 ± 0.42 (mean ± SE) µmol CO2 m-2s-1 in the secondary birch forest and 2.04 ± 0.07 µmol CO2 m-2s-1 in the primary fir forest over our measurement period. Soil respiration rate had a significant exponential regression relationship with soil temperature, but was not significantly correlated with soil water content in the two forests. Soil temperature accounted for 69.5% and 34.9% of the variation in soil respiration in the secondary birch forest and the primary fir forest, respectively. The contribution of autotrophic respiration (RA) to RS averaged 16% in the secondary birch forest and 23% in the primary fir forest over our measurement period. In contrast, in the secondary birch forest, the contribution of heterotrophic respiration (RH) to RS averaged 84%, of which 67% originated from soil organic matter (SOM) and 17% from litter. In the primary fir forest, the contribution of RH to RS averaged 77%, of which 57% originated from SOM and 20% from litter. Obviously, heterotrophic rather than autotrophic respiration was the dominant component of soil respiration. In addition, RH mainly derived from its belowground part.


Soil respiration, soil temperature, the secondary birch forest, the primary fir forest, trenching

Journal: Journal of Food, Agriculture and Environment
Year: 2014
Volume: 12
Issue: 1
Category: Environment
Pages: 368-373

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