Annual variation in soil respiration and its component parts in two structurally contrasting woody savannas in Central Brazil

Butler, Andre, Meir, Patrick, Saiz, Gustavo, Maracahipes, Leandro, Marimon, Beatriz Schwantes, and Grace, John (2012) Annual variation in soil respiration and its component parts in two structurally contrasting woody savannas in Central Brazil. Plant and Soil, 352 (1-2). pp. 129-142.

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Background and aims: Due to the high spatial and temporal variation in soil CO₂ efflux, terrestrial carbon budgets rely on a detailed understanding of the drivers of soil respiration from a diverse range of ecosystems and climate zones. In this study we aim to evaluate the independent influence of vegetation structure and climate on soil CO₂ efflux within cerrado ecosystems.

Methods: We examine the seasonal and diel variation of soil CO₂ efflux, including its autotrophic and heterotrophic components, within two adjacent and structurally contrasting woody savannas in central Brazil.

Principle results: We found no significant difference in the annual soil CO₂ efflux between the two stands (p=0.53) despite a clear disparity in both LAI (p<0.01) and leaf litterfall (p<0.01). The mean annual loss of carbon from the soil was 17.32(± 1.48) Mg Cha⁻¹ of which approximately 63% was accounted for by autotrophic respiration. The relative contribution of autotrophic respiration varied seasonally between 55% in the wet season to 79% of the total soil CO₂ efflux in the dry season. Furthermore, seasonal fluctuations of all the soil respiration components were strongly correlated with soil moisture (R²=0.79-0.90, p<0.01).

Conclusions: Across these two structurally distinct cerrado stands, seasonal variations in rainfall, was the main driver of soil CO₂ efflux and its components. Consequently, soil respiration within these ecosystems is likely to be highly sensitive to any changes in seasonal precipitation patterns.

Item ID: 22674
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1573-5036
Keywords: cerrado, soil respiration, soil temperature, soil moisture, vegetation structure, autotrophic soil respiration
Date Deposited: 01 Aug 2012 10:10
FoR Codes: 05 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES > 0503 Soil Sciences > 050301 Carbon Sequestration Science @ 50%
04 EARTH SCIENCES > 0406 Physical Geography and Environmental Geoscience > 040601 Geomorphology and Regolith and Landscape Evolution @ 50%
SEO Codes: 96 ENVIRONMENT > 9614 Soils > 961403 Forest and Woodlands Soils @ 50%
96 ENVIRONMENT > 9614 Soils > 961406 Sparseland, Permanent Grassland and Arid Zone Soils @ 50%
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