Chin J Plan Ecolo ›› 2011, Vol. 35 ›› Issue (7): 731-740.doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1258.2011.00731

• Research Articles • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Temporal and spatial patterns of soil respiration in subtropical forests of eastern China

ZHOU Wen-Jia*, SHI Zhao-Yong, and WANG Wei   

  1. College of Urban and Environmental Science, Key Laboratory for Earth Surface Processes of Ministry of Education, Peking University, Beijing 100871, China
  • Received:2011-03-25 Revised:2011-06-03 Online:2011-08-18 Published:2011-07-01
  • Contact: ZHOU Wen-Jia


Aims Soil respiration shows spatio-temporal differences at all scales because it is affected by diverse abiotic and biotic factors. Our objectives were to understand the seasonal dynamics and regional patterns of soil respiration in subtropical forests of eastern China and explore the possible underlying reasons.
Methods We examined seasonal variations of soil respiration using a LI-8100 Soil Respiration System in 8 subtropical forests, belonging to three regions of eastern China, from August 2009 to October 2010. Soil temperatures at 5 cm depth were measured at the same time. We evaluated apparent Q10 values and annual CO2 efflux from soil to atmosphere at each site using the exponential relationship between soil respiration and soil temperature.
Important findings Seasonal differences in soil respiration appeared at all sites, ranging from 2.64 to 6.24 μmol CO2·m–2·s–1. Soil respiration was higher in summer and lower in winter, following the seasonal dynamic of soil temperature. Soil temperature can explain 58.3%–90.2% of the variance of soil respiration for the year. Annual Q10 values from different sites ranged from 1.56 to 3.27. Annual soil CO2 efflux ranged from 1 077 to 2 058 g C·m–2·a–1 among all research sites in 2010, a high level of ecosystem CO2 efflux at the global scale.

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