Journal cover Journal topic
Biogeosciences An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
Biogeosciences, 7, 2147-2157, 2010
© Author(s) 2010. This work is distributed
under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.
09 Jul 2010
Soil respiration at mean annual temperature predicts annual total across vegetation types and biomes
M. Bahn1, M. Reichstein2, E. A. Davidson3, J. Grünzweig4, M. Jung2, M. S. Carbone5, D. Epron6, L. Misson7,†, Y. Nouvellon8,9, O. Roupsard8,10, K. Savage3, S. E. Trumbore2, C. Gimeno11, J. Curiel Yuste12, J. Tang13, R. Vargas14, and I. A. Janssens15 1Institute of Ecology, University of Innsbruck, Innsbruck, Austria
2Max-Planck Institute for Biogeochemistry, Jena, Germany
3The Woods Hole Research Center, Falmouth, Massachusetts, USA
4Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Robert H. Smith Faculty of Agriculture, Food and Environment, Rehovot, Israel
5Department of Geography, University of California, Santa Barbara, California, USA
6Nancy Université, Université Henri Poincaré, Vandoeuvre les Nancy, France
7CNRS, Montpellier, France
8CIRAD, Montpellier, France
9CRDPI, Pointe-Noire, Republic of Congo
10CATIE, Turrialba, Costa Rica
11CEAM, Paterna, Valencia, Spain
12CREAF, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, Bellaterra, Barcelona, Spain
13The Ecosystems Center, Marine Biological Laboratory, Woods Hole, Massachusetts, USA
14Department of Environmental Science, Policy & Management (ESPM), University of California, Berkeley, California, USA
15Department of Biology, University Instelling Antwerp, Wilrijk, Belgium
This article is dedicated to Laurent Misson, who died in a tragic accident in March 2010.
Abstract. Soil respiration (SR) constitutes the largest flux of CO2 from terrestrial ecosystems to the atmosphere. However, there still exist considerable uncertainties as to its actual magnitude, as well as its spatial and interannual variability. Based on a reanalysis and synthesis of 80 site-years for 57 forests, plantations, savannas, shrublands and grasslands from boreal to tropical climates we present evidence that total annual SR is closely related to SR at mean annual soil temperature (SRMAT), irrespective of the type of ecosystem and biome. This is theoretically expected for non water-limited ecosystems within most of the globally occurring range of annual temperature variability and sensitivity (Q10). We further show that for seasonally dry sites where annual precipitation (P) is lower than potential evapotranspiration (PET), annual SR can be predicted from wet season SRMAT corrected for a factor related to P/PET. Our finding indicates that it can be sufficient to measure SRMAT for obtaining a well constrained estimate of its annual total. This should substantially increase our capacity for assessing the spatial distribution of soil CO2 emissions across ecosystems, landscapes and regions, and thereby contribute to improving the spatial resolution of a major component of the global carbon cycle.

Citation: Bahn, M., Reichstein, M., Davidson, E. A., Grünzweig, J., Jung, M., Carbone, M. S., Epron, D., Misson, L., Nouvellon, Y., Roupsard, O., Savage, K., Trumbore, S. E., Gimeno, C., Curiel Yuste, J., Tang, J., Vargas, R., and Janssens, I. A.: Soil respiration at mean annual temperature predicts annual total across vegetation types and biomes, Biogeosciences, 7, 2147-2157, doi:10.5194/bg-7-2147-2010, 2010.
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