Chin J Plant Ecol ›› 2019, Vol. 43 ›› Issue (2): 152-164.doi: 10.17521/cjpe.2017.0280

• Research Articles • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Effects of collar size and buried depth on the measurement of soil respiration in a typical steppe

LI Jian-Jun1,2,LIU Lian1,2,CHEN Di-Ma1,XU Feng-Wei1,2,CHENG Jun-Hui3,BAI Yong-Fei1,**()   

  1. 1 State Key Laboratory of Vegetation and Environmental Change, Institute of Botany, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100093, China
    2 College of Resources and Environment, University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049, China
    3 College of Grassland and Environment Science, Xingjiang Agricultural University, ürümqi 830052, China;
  • Received:2017-11-02 Accepted:2018-04-19 Online:2019-06-04 Published:2019-02-20
  • Contact: BAI Yong-Fei
  • Supported by:
    Supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China(31320103916);Supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China(31630010)

Abstract: <i>Aims</i>

Soil respiration plays an important role in carbon cycling in grassland ecosystems. However, the effects of collar size and buried depth during field measurement on soil respiration are rarely assessed.


We conducted a two-factor experiment to examine how soil collar depth (2 cm and 5 cm) and size (15 cm × 15 cm and 30 cm × 30 cm) affected the soil respiration (SR), post aboveground net primary productivity (post-ANPP), soil temperature (ST), and soil water content (SWC) in a semi-arid steppe.

<i>Important findings</i>

The results showed that the deep-inserted soil collar (5 cm soil depth) decreased the soil respiration by 8.0%-9.7% compared with the shallow-inserted soil collar (2 cm soil depth). The large-sized soil collar (30 cm × 30 cm) decreased the soil respiration by 9.1%-10.8% compared with the small-sized soil collar (15 cm × 15 cm). We also found that the deep-inserted and large-sized soil collars had higher ST but lower SWC compared with the shallow-depth and small-sized soil collars. Structural equation model indicated that the lower respiration in the deep-inserted and large-sized soil collars was due to the lower post-ANPP, ST, and SWC. Overall, we found that the soil collar size and buried depth can substantially alter the magnitude of soil respiration by changing plant biomass, ST, and SWC. These findings suggest that the influences of collar size and buried depth on soil respiration should be considered for better estimation and modeling of soil CO2 fluxes in terrestrial ecosystems.

Key words: collar, net primary productivity, soil temperature, soil water content, clonal integration, seasonal dynamics, CO2, structural equation model

Fig. 1

Effects of collar buried depth, collar size, and precipitation events on soil respiration rate (SR)(A), soil temperature (ST)(B), and soil water content (SWC)(C) in the growing season of 2013 (insets: mean ± SE). D2S15、D5S15、D2S30、D5S30 see Table 2. Different lowercase letters indicate significant difference among treatments (p < 0.05)."

Table 1

Results of repeated measures ANOVA for the effects of collar buried depth (D), collar size (S), and time of measurement (t) on soil respiration (SR), soil temperature (ST), and soil water content (SWC)"

响应变量 Response variable
t 506.6*** 2293.6*** 311.8***
D 20.5*** 143.8*** 6.2*
S 35.9*** 13.2** 61.4***
t × D 15.1*** 24.7*** 0.8ns
t × S 6.2** 4.3* 5.5**
D × S 0.6ns 1.5ns 1.2ns
t × D × S 7.2*** 2.5ns 0.2ns

Table 2

The variables to collar buried depth and side length of the square collar on soil respiration rate (SR), soil temperature (ST), and soil water content (SWC) of each time depend on one-way ANOVA"

2013-06-24 D2S15 4.22 ± 0.10ab 15.83 ± 0.08b 17.12 ± 1.30a
D5S15 4.58 ± 0.11a 18.08 ± 0.27a 15.52 ± 0.75a
D2S30 4.10 ± 0.16b 16.33 ± 0.14b 17.50 ± 1.00a
D5S30 4.52 ± 0.12a 17.98 ± 0.13a 15.92 ± 0.8a
2013-07-06 D2S15 5.68 ± 0.52a 18.05 ± 0.10c 20.67 ± 1.43a
D5S15 4.79 ± 0.16b 19.83 ± 0.11a 17.20 ± 1.05a
D2S30 4.58 ± 0.11b 18.83 ± 0.08b 19.02 ± 1.36a
D5S30 4.69 ± 0.20b 19.73 ± 0.05a 19.03 ± 0.80a
2013-07-22 D2S15 8.10 ± 0.18a 23.27 ± 0.24c 26.68 ± 0.4a
D5S15 6.00 ± 0.06b 23.78 ± 0.07bc 24.17 ± 0.21b
D2S30 6.29 ± 0.22b 24.13 ± 0.26ab 25.68 ± 0.43a
D5S30 5.37 ± 0.07c 24.40 ± 0.20a 22.72 ± 0.62c
2013-08-14 D2S15 5.21 ± 0.22a 20.43 ± 0.13a 19.88 ± 1.53a
D5S15 5.26 ± 0.20a 20.48 ± 0.08a 18.63 ± 0.88a
D2S30 5.38 ± 0.31a 20.43 ± 0.13a 19.47 ± 1.19a
D5S30 3.96 ± 0.09b 20.72 ± 0.09a 15.23 ± 0.65b
2013-09-15 D2S15 3.31 ± 0.15a 12.33 ± 0.29b 14.10 ± 0.83ab
D5S15 3.42 ± 0.11a 14.83 ± 0.13a 13.97 ± 0.43ab
D2S30 3.02 ± 0.13a 11.55 ± 0.22c 14.93 ± 1.3a
D5S30 3.17 ± 0.15a 15.00 ± 0.17a 11.77 ± 0.56b
2013-10-16 D2S15 0.63 ± 0.03a 7.65 ± 0.54b 8.33 ± 0.42a
D5S15 0.66 ± 0.02a 8.28 ± 0.27ab 6.90 ± 0.38b
D2S30 0.67 ± 0.02a 9.12 ± 0.52a 8.27 ± 0.41a
D5S30 0.60 ± 0.04a 8.88 ± 0.31ab 6.48 ± 0.17b

Fig. 2

Results of ANOVAs for aboveground biomass before treatments (pre-AGP)(A), the aboveground net primary productivity (post-ANPP)(B) in the growing season of 2013 (mean ± SE). Different lowercase letters indicate significant difference among treatments (p < 0.05)."

Fig. 3

Relationship between soil respiration rate (SR) and soil temperature (ST) at 10 cm soil depth under different treatments. D and S denote the buried depth and length of the square soil collar, respectively. D2S15, D = 2 cm and S =15 cm; D5S15, D = 5 cm, S = 15 cm; D2S30, D = 2 cm, S = 30 cm; and D5S30, D = 5 cm, S = 30 cm."

Fig. 4

Relationship between soil respiration rate (SR) and soil water content (SWC) at 10 cm soil depth under different treatments. D and S denote the buried depth and length of the square soil collar, respectively. D2S15, D = 2 cm and S =15 cm; D5S15, D = 5 cm, S = 15 cm; D2S30, D = 2 cm, S = 30 cm; and D5S30, D = 5 cm, S = 30 cm."

Fig. 5

Relationships between soil respiration rate (SR) and aboveground net primary productively (post-ANPP) under different treatments. D and S denote the buried depth and length of the square soil collar, respectively. D2S15, D = 2 cm and S =15 cm; D5S15, D = 5 cm, S = 15 cm; D2S30, D = 2 cm, S = 30 cm; and D5S30, D = 5 cm, S = 30 cm."

Fig. 6

Structural equation modeling analysis for the effects of collar depth (D) and size (S) on soil respiration rate, via pathways of biotic and abiotic factors during the study period. Square boxes indicate variables included in the model. Results of model fitting: χ2 = 0.89, p = 0.874 > 0.085, df = 5, RMSEA = 0.000 < 0.05, AGFI = 0.900 > 0.90, GFI = 0.975 > 0.90 (which indicates a good fit of the model to the data). Black and gray solid arrows indicate significantly positive and negative effects, respectively and dashed arrows indicate insignificant effects (p > 0.05). Values associated with the arrows represent standardized path coefficients. R2 values associated with response variables indicate the proportion of variation explained by relationships with all other variables. RMSEA, root-mean-square error of approximation; AGFI, adjusted goodness-of-fit index; GFI, goodness-of-fit index. post-ANPP, post aboveground net primary productivity; SR, soil respiration; ST, soil temperature; SWC, soil water content. **, p < 0.01; ***, p < 0.001."

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