skip to main content
DOE PAGES title logo U.S. Department of Energy
Office of Scientific and Technical Information

Title: Localized basal area affects soil respiration temperature sensitivity in a coastal deciduous forest

Abstract

Soil respiration (R s), the flow of CO 2 from the soil surface to the atmosphere, is one of the largest carbon fluxes in the terrestrial biosphere. The spatial variability of R s is both large and poorly understood, limiting our ability to robustly scale it in space. One factor in R s spatial variability is the autotrophic contribution from plant roots, but it is uncertain how the presence of plants affects the magnitude and temperature sensitivity of R s. This study used 1 year of R s measurements to examine the effect of localized basal area on Rs in the growing and dormant seasons, as well as during moisture-limited times, in a temperate, coastal, deciduous forest in eastern Maryland, USA. In a linear mixed-effects model, tree basal area within a 5 m radius (BA 5) exerted a significant positive effect on the temperature sensitivity of soil respiration. Soil moisture was the dominant control on R s during the dry portions of the year, while soil moisture, temperature, and BA 5 all exerted significant effects on R s in wetter periods. Our results suggest that autotrophic respiration is more sensitive to temperature than heterotrophic respiration at these sites, although wemore » did not measure these source fluxes directly, and that soil respiration is highly moisture sensitive, even in a record-rainfall year. The Rs flux magnitudes (0.46–15.0 µmol m -2 s -1) and variability (coefficient of variability 10%–23% across plots) observed in this study were comparable to values observed in similar forests. Six R s observations would be required in order to estimate the mean across all study sites to within 50%, and 518 would be required in order to estimate it to within 5%, with 95% confidence. A better understanding of the spatial interactions between plants and microbes, as well as the strength and speed of above- and belowground coupling, is necessary to link these processes with large-scale soil-to-atmosphere C fluxes.« less

Authors:
ORCiD logo [1];  [1]; ORCiD logo [2];  [1]; ORCiD logo [1]
  1. Pacific Northwest National Lab. (PNNL), Richland, WA (United States)
  2. Smithsonian Environmental Research Center, Edgewater, MD (United States)
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Pacific Northwest National Lab. (PNNL), Richland, WA (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE
OSTI Identifier:
1602273
Report Number(s):
[PNNL-SA-143158]
[Journal ID: ISSN 1726-4189]
Grant/Contract Number:  
[AC05-76RL01830]
Resource Type:
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Biogeosciences (Online)
Additional Journal Information:
[Journal Name: Biogeosciences (Online); Journal Volume: 17; Journal Issue: 3]; Journal ID: ISSN 1726-4189
Publisher:
European Geosciences Union
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
54 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES; carbon cycling; temperate forest; spatial variability; soil respiration

Citation Formats

Pennington, Stephanie C., McDowell, Nate G., Megonigal, J. Patrick, Stegen, James C., and Bond-Lamberty, Ben. Localized basal area affects soil respiration temperature sensitivity in a coastal deciduous forest. United States: N. p., 2020. Web. doi:10.5194/bg-17-771-2020.
Pennington, Stephanie C., McDowell, Nate G., Megonigal, J. Patrick, Stegen, James C., & Bond-Lamberty, Ben. Localized basal area affects soil respiration temperature sensitivity in a coastal deciduous forest. United States. doi:10.5194/bg-17-771-2020.
Pennington, Stephanie C., McDowell, Nate G., Megonigal, J. Patrick, Stegen, James C., and Bond-Lamberty, Ben. Fri . "Localized basal area affects soil respiration temperature sensitivity in a coastal deciduous forest". United States. doi:10.5194/bg-17-771-2020. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/1602273.
@article{osti_1602273,
title = {Localized basal area affects soil respiration temperature sensitivity in a coastal deciduous forest},
author = {Pennington, Stephanie C. and McDowell, Nate G. and Megonigal, J. Patrick and Stegen, James C. and Bond-Lamberty, Ben},
abstractNote = {Soil respiration (Rs), the flow of CO2 from the soil surface to the atmosphere, is one of the largest carbon fluxes in the terrestrial biosphere. The spatial variability of Rs is both large and poorly understood, limiting our ability to robustly scale it in space. One factor in Rs spatial variability is the autotrophic contribution from plant roots, but it is uncertain how the presence of plants affects the magnitude and temperature sensitivity of Rs. This study used 1 year of Rs measurements to examine the effect of localized basal area on Rs in the growing and dormant seasons, as well as during moisture-limited times, in a temperate, coastal, deciduous forest in eastern Maryland, USA. In a linear mixed-effects model, tree basal area within a 5 m radius (BA5) exerted a significant positive effect on the temperature sensitivity of soil respiration. Soil moisture was the dominant control on Rs during the dry portions of the year, while soil moisture, temperature, and BA5 all exerted significant effects on Rs in wetter periods. Our results suggest that autotrophic respiration is more sensitive to temperature than heterotrophic respiration at these sites, although we did not measure these source fluxes directly, and that soil respiration is highly moisture sensitive, even in a record-rainfall year. The Rs flux magnitudes (0.46–15.0 µmol m-2 s-1) and variability (coefficient of variability 10%–23% across plots) observed in this study were comparable to values observed in similar forests. Six Rs observations would be required in order to estimate the mean across all study sites to within 50%, and 518 would be required in order to estimate it to within 5%, with 95% confidence. A better understanding of the spatial interactions between plants and microbes, as well as the strength and speed of above- and belowground coupling, is necessary to link these processes with large-scale soil-to-atmosphere C fluxes.},
doi = {10.5194/bg-17-771-2020},
journal = {Biogeosciences (Online)},
number = [3],
volume = [17],
place = {United States},
year = {2020},
month = {2}
}

Journal Article:
Free Publicly Available Full Text
Publisher's Version of Record

Save / Share:

Works referenced in this record:

Effects of soil moisture on the temperature sensitivity of heterotrophic respiration vary seasonally in an old-field climate change experiment
journal, September 2011


Latitude, productivity and species richness: Latitude and productivity
journal, October 2014

  • Gillman, Len N.; Wright, Shane D.; Cusens, Jarrod
  • Global Ecology and Biogeography, Vol. 24, Issue 1
  • DOI: 10.1111/geb.12245

Environmental variables controlling soil respiration on diurnal, seasonal and annual time-scales in a mixed mountain forest in Switzerland
journal, October 2009


Spatial and temporal variations of soil respiration in a Eucalyptus plantation in Congo
journal, December 2004


Partitioning of ecosystem respiration in a beech forest
journal, April 2018


Wetland carbon storage controlled by millennial-scale variation in relative sea-level rise
journal, March 2019


Complex terrain leads to bidirectional responses of soil respiration to inter-annual water availability
journal, October 2011


New Techniques and Data for Understanding the Global Soil Respiration Flux
journal, September 2018


Ecosystem-level controls on root-rhizosphere respiration
journal, April 2013

  • Hopkins, Francesca; Gonzalez-Meler, Miquel A.; Flower, Charles E.
  • New Phytologist, Vol. 199, Issue 2
  • DOI: 10.1111/nph.12271

Modeling temporal and large-scale spatial variability of soil respiration from soil water availability, temperature and vegetation productivity indices
journal, November 2003

  • Reichstein, Markus; Rey, Ana; Freibauer, Annette
  • Global Biogeochemical Cycles, Vol. 17, Issue 4
  • DOI: 10.1029/2003GB002035

Trends and methodological impacts in soil CO2 efflux partitioning: A metaanalytical review
journal, June 2006


The sensitivity of soil respiration to soil temperature, moisture, and carbon supply at the global scale
journal, October 2016

  • Hursh, Andrew; Ballantyne, Ashley; Cooper, Leila
  • Global Change Biology, Vol. 23, Issue 5
  • DOI: 10.1111/gcb.13489

A global database of soil respiration data
journal, January 2010


Soil CO 2 efflux in an old-growth southern conifer forest ( Agathis australis ) – magnitude, components and controls
journal, January 2016


Temperate forest methane sink diminished by tree emissions
journal, March 2017

  • Pitz, Scott; Megonigal, J. Patrick
  • New Phytologist, Vol. 214, Issue 4
  • DOI: 10.1111/nph.14559

Comparing ecosystem and soil respiration: Review and key challenges of tower-based and soil measurements
journal, February 2018


Does spatial distribution of tree size account for spatial variation in soil respiration in a tropical forest?
journal, June 2011

  • Bréchet, Laëtitia; Ponton, Stéphane; Alméras, Tancrède
  • Plant and Soil, Vol. 347, Issue 1-2
  • DOI: 10.1007/s11104-011-0848-1

Fitting Linear Mixed-Effects Models Using lme4
journal, January 2015

  • Bates, Douglas; Mächler, Martin; Bolker, Ben
  • Journal of Statistical Software, Vol. 67, Issue 1
  • DOI: 10.18637/jss.v067.i01

Water balance, transpiration and canopy conductance in two beech stands
journal, February 2000


The temperature responses of soil respiration in deserts: a seven desert synthesis
journal, June 2010


Soil respiration in a northeastern US temperate forest: a 22-year synthesis
journal, November 2013

  • Giasson, M. -A.; Ellison, A. M.; Bowden, R. D.
  • Ecosphere, Vol. 4, Issue 11
  • DOI: 10.1890/ES13.00183.1

Global Carbon Budget 2017
journal, January 2018

  • Le Quéré, Corinne; Andrew, Robbie M.; Friedlingstein, Pierre
  • Earth System Science Data, Vol. 10, Issue 1
  • DOI: 10.5194/essd-10-405-2018

Soil respiration across a permafrost transition zone: spatial structure and environmental correlates
journal, January 2017

  • Stegen, James C.; Anderson, Carolyn G.; Bond-Lamberty, Ben
  • Biogeosciences, Vol. 14, Issue 18
  • DOI: 10.5194/bg-14-4341-2017

Annual Q10 of soil respiration reflects plant phenological patterns as well as temperature sensitivity
journal, February 2004


Hotspot of accelerated sea-level rise on the Atlantic coast of North America
journal, June 2012

  • Sallenger, Asbury H.; Doran, Kara S.; Howd, Peter A.
  • Nature Climate Change, Vol. 2, Issue 12
  • DOI: 10.1038/nclimate1597

CO 2 balance of boreal, temperate, and tropical forests derived from a global database
journal, December 2007


The redistribution of soil water by tree root systems
journal, July 1998

  • Burgess, Stephen S. O.; Adams, Mark A.; Turner, Neil C.
  • Oecologia, Vol. 115, Issue 3
  • DOI: 10.1007/s004420050521

Soil warming in a cool-temperate mixed forest with peat soil enhanced heterotrophic and basal respiration rates but Q10 remained unchanged
journal, January 2011


Quantifying vegetation and canopy structural complexity from terrestrial LiDAR data using the forestr r package
journal, August 2018

  • Atkins, Jeff W.; Bohrer, Gil; Fahey, Robert T.
  • Methods in Ecology and Evolution, Vol. 9, Issue 10
  • DOI: 10.1111/2041-210X.13061

Minimizing artifacts and biases in chamber-based measurements of soil respiration
journal, December 2002


Seasonal dynamics of soil carbon dioxide efflux and simulated rhizosphere respiration in a beech forest
journal, February 2001


On the maximum extent of tree roots
journal, December 1991


Interannual variability in global soil respiration, 1980-94
journal, August 2002


Estimating heterotrophic respiration at large scales: challenges, approaches, and next steps
journal, June 2016

  • Bond‐Lamberty, Ben; Epron, Daniel; Harden, Jennifer
  • Ecosphere, Vol. 7, Issue 6
  • DOI: 10.1002/ecs2.1380

Large-scale forest girdling shows that current photosynthesis drives soil respiration
journal, June 2001

  • Högberg, Peter; Nordgren, Anders; Buchmann, Nina
  • Nature, Vol. 411, Issue 6839
  • DOI: 10.1038/35081058

Roots exert a strong influence on the temperature sensitivityof soil respiration
journal, December 1998

  • Boone, Richard D.; Nadelhoffer, Knute J.; Canary, Jana D.
  • Nature, Vol. 396, Issue 6711
  • DOI: 10.1038/25119

Seasonal respiration of foliage, fine roots, and woody tissues in relation to growth, tissue N, and photosynthesis
journal, February 2002


Sensitivity of decomposition rates of soil organic matter with respect to simultaneous changes in temperature and moisture
journal, February 2015

  • Sierra, Carlos A.; Trumbore, Susan E.; Davidson, Eric A.
  • Journal of Advances in Modeling Earth Systems, Vol. 7, Issue 1
  • DOI: 10.1002/2014MS000358

Separating root and soil microbial contributions to soil respiration: A review of methods and observations
journal, January 2000

  • Hanson, P. J.; Edwards, N. T.; Garten, C. T.
  • Biogeochemistry, Vol. 48, Issue 1, p. 115-146
  • DOI: 10.1023/A:1006244819642

Spatial variability and optimal sampling strategy of soil respiration
journal, February 2008


Required sample size for estimating soil respiration rates in large areas of two tropical forests and of two types of plantation in Malaysia
journal, May 2005

  • Adachi, Minako; Bekku, Yukiko Sakata; Konuma, Akihiro
  • Forest Ecology and Management, Vol. 210, Issue 1-3
  • DOI: 10.1016/j.foreco.2005.02.011

Forest soil respiration and its heterotrophic and autotrophic components: Global patterns and responses to temperature and precipitation
journal, August 2010


Seasonal and spatial variability of soil respiration in four Sitka spruce stands
journal, August 2006