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Forests 2016, 7(8), 161; doi:10.3390/f7080161

Diurnal Freeze-Thaw Cycles Modify Winter Soil Respiration in a Desert Shrub-Land Ecosystem

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Yanchi Research Station, School of Soil and Water Conservation, Beijing Forestry University, Beijing 100083, China
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Key Laboratory of State Forestry Administration on Soil and Water Conservation, Beijing Forestry University, Beijing 100083, China
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School of Forest Sciences, Faculty of Science and Forestry, University of Eastern Finland, Joensuu 80101, Finland
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Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Brian D. Strahm and Timothy A. Martin
Received: 29 May 2016 / Revised: 7 July 2016 / Accepted: 26 July 2016 / Published: 29 July 2016
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [2328 KB, uploaded 29 July 2016]   |  

Abstract

Winter soil respiration (Rs) is becoming a significant component of annual carbon budgets with more warming in winter than summer. However, little is known about the controlling mechanisms of winter Rs in dryland. We made continuous measurements of Rs in four microsites (non-crust (BS), lichen (LC), moss (MC), and a mixture of moss and lichen (ML)) in a desert shrub-land ecosystem northern China, to investigate the causes of Rs dynamics in winter. The mean winter Rs ranged from 0.10 to 0.17 µmol CO2 m−2·s−1 across microsites, with the highest value in BS. Winter Q10 (known as the increase in respiration rate per 10 °C increase in temperature) values (2.8–19) were much higher than those from the growing season (1.5). Rs and Q10 were greatly enhanced in freeze-thaw cycles compared to frozen days. Diurnal patterns of Rs between freeze-thaw and frozen days differed. Although the freeze-thaw period was relatively short, its cumulative Rs contributed significantly to winter Rs. The presence of biocrust might induce lower temperature, thus having fewer freeze-thaw cycles relative to bare soil, leading to the lower Rs for microsites with biocrusts. In conclusion, winter Rs in drylands was sensitive to soil temperature (Ts) and Ts-induced freeze-thaw cycles. The temperature impact on Rs varied among soil cover types. Winter Rs in drylands may become more important as the climate is continuously getting warmer. View Full-Text
Keywords: winter soil respiration; soil crust; frozen; freeze-thaw cycles; Q10 winter soil respiration; soil crust; frozen; freeze-thaw cycles; Q10
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Liu, P.; Zha, T.; Jia, X.; Wang, B.; Guo, X.; Zhang, Y.; Wu, B.; Yang, Q.; Peltola, H. Diurnal Freeze-Thaw Cycles Modify Winter Soil Respiration in a Desert Shrub-Land Ecosystem. Forests 2016, 7, 161.

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