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Open AccessArticle

Soil Respiration Dynamics in Bromus erectus-Dominated Grasslands under Different Management Intensities

1
Dipartimento di Science Agrarie, Alimentari ed Ambientali, Università Politecnica delle Marche, 60131 Ancona, Italy
2
National Institute for Agro-Environmental Sciences, Tsukuba 305-8604, Japan
3
East Malling Research, East Malling ME19 6BJ, UK
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Agriculture 2020, 10(1), 9; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture10010009
Received: 3 December 2019 / Revised: 24 December 2019 / Accepted: 26 December 2019 / Published: 30 December 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Greenhouse Gas Emissions in Agroecosystems)
Reduction of soil greenhouse gas emissions is crucial to control increases in atmospheric CO2 concentrations. Permanent grasslands are of considerable importance in climate change mitigation strategies as they cover about 13% of the global agricultural area. However, uncertainties remain for the effects of management practices on soil respiration, especially over the short term. This study investigated the influence of different mowing intensities on soil respiration over the short term for Bromus erectus-dominated grasslands in the central Apennines. From 2016 to 2018, soil respiration, temperature, and moisture were measured under three different management systems: customary management, intensive use, and abandonment. Both soil water content and temperature changed over time, however mowing did not affect soil water content while occasionally altered soil temperature. The intensive use promoted higher seasonal mean soil respiration compared to the abandonment only during the 2016 growing season. Soil temperature was the main driver of soil respiration above a soil water content threshold that varied little among treatments (18.23–22.71%). Below the thresholds, soil moisture was the main driver of soil respiration. These data suggest that different mowing regimes have little influence on soil respiration over the short term in Bromus erectus-dominated grasslands. Thus, more intensive use would not have significative impacts on soil respiration, at least over the short term. Future studies need to clarify the role of root mycorrhizal and microbial respiration in the light of climate change, considering the seasonal redistribution of the rainfall. View Full-Text
Keywords: carbon cycle; CO2; greenhouse gases; mowing; Natura 2000; permanent grassland; semi-natural dry grasslands carbon cycle; CO2; greenhouse gases; mowing; Natura 2000; permanent grassland; semi-natural dry grasslands
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Francioni, M.; Trozzo, L.; Toderi, M.; Baldoni, N.; Allegrezza, M.; Tesei, G.; Kishimoto-Mo, A.W.; Foresi, L.; Santilocchi, R.; D’Ottavio, P. Soil Respiration Dynamics in Bromus erectus-Dominated Grasslands under Different Management Intensities. Agriculture 2020, 10, 9.

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