Climate dependence of heterotrophic soil respiration from a soil-translocation experiment along a 3000 m tropical forest altitudinal gradient

Zimmermann, M., Meir, P., Bird, M.I., Malhi, Y., and Ccahuana, A.J.Q. (2009) Climate dependence of heterotrophic soil respiration from a soil-translocation experiment along a 3000 m tropical forest altitudinal gradient. European Journal of Soil Science, 60 (6). pp. 895-906.

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Abstract

Tropical ecosystems play a key role in the global carbon cycle, but their response to global warming is not well understood. Altitudinal gradients offer the unique possibility of undertaking in situ experimental studies of the influence of alterations in climate on the carbon (C) cycle. In a soil-translocation experiment we took replicate soil cores at 3030 m, 1500 m, 1000 m and 200 m above sea level along an altitudinal gradient in tropical forest in Peru, and exchanged (i.e. translocated) them among these sites to observe the influence of altered climatic conditions on the decomposition of soil organic matter under natural field conditions. Soil respiration rates of the translocated soil cores and adjacent undisturbed soils were measured twice a month from April 2007 to October 2007. The temperature sensitivity of heterotrophic respiration in each core was examined using a Lloyd & Taylor function and a simple modified third-order polynomial fit. Calculated Q10 values decreased with decreasing altitude using both mathematical functions (2.53–1.24 according to the Lloyd & Taylor function, and 2.56–0.63 using the polynomial fit). Soil organic C-stocks increased markedly and linearly with altitude, but surprisingly the average total soil respiration rate did not vary significantly with altitude along the transect (3.98–4.31 μmol CO2 m−2 s−1). This implies an increase with elevation of absolute C allocation to below-ground allocation.

Item ID: 10864
Item Type: Article (Refereed Research - C1)
ISSN: 1365-2389
Date Deposited: 06 May 2010 04:37
FoR Codes: 05 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES > 0503 Soil Sciences > 050301 Carbon Sequestration Science @ 100%
SEO Codes: 96 ENVIRONMENT > 9603 Climate and Climate Change > 960305 Ecosystem Adaptation to Climate Change @ 50%
97 EXPANDING KNOWLEDGE > 970105 Expanding Knowledge in the Environmental Sciences @ 50%
Citation Count from Web of Science Web of Science 19
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