Precipitation frequency controls interannual variation of soil respiration by affecting soil moisture in a subtropical forest plantation
Abstract:Despite the significance of interannual variation of soil respiration (R S) for understanding long-term soil carbon dynamics, factors that control the interannual variation of R S have not been sufficiently investigated. Interannual variation of R S was studied using a 6-year data set collected in a subtropical plantation dominated by an exotic species, slash pine (Pinus elliottii Engelm.), in China. The results showed that seasonal variation of R S was significantly affected by soil temperature and soil water content (SWC). R S in the dry season (July–October) was constrained by seasonal drought. Mean annual R S was estimated to be 736 ± 30 g C·m–2·year–1, with a range of 706–790 g C·m–2·year–1. Although this forest was characterized by a humid climate with high precipitation (1469 mm·year–1), the interannual variation of R S was attributed to the changes of annual mean SWC (R 2 = 0.66, P = 0.03), which was affected by annual rainfall frequency (R 2 = 0.80, P < 0.01) and not rainfall amount (P = 0.84). Consequently, precipitation pattern indirectly controlled the interannual variation of R S by affecting soil moisture in this subtropical forest. In the context of climate change, interannual variation of R S in subtropical ecosystems is expected to increase because of the predicted changes of precipitation regime.
Document Type: Research Article
Affiliations: Key Laboratory of Ecosystem Network Observation and Modeling, Institute of Geographic Sciences and Natural Resources Research, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100101, China.
Publication date: September 29, 2011
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