Biology and Fertility of Soils

, Volume 48, Issue 7, pp 859–866

Effects of warming and increased precipitation on soil carbon mineralization in an Inner Mongolian grassland after 6 years of treatments

  • Xiaoqi Zhou
  • Chengrong Chen
  • Yanfen Wang
  • Zhihong Xu
  • Zhengyi Hu
  • Xiaoyong Cui
  • Yanbin Hao
Short Communication

DOI: 10.1007/s00374-012-0686-1

Cite this article as:
Zhou, X., Chen, C., Wang, Y. et al. Biol Fertil Soils (2012) 48: 859. doi:10.1007/s00374-012-0686-1

Abstract

Understanding the responses of soil C mineralization to climate change is critical for evaluating soil C cycling in future climatic scenarios. Here, we took advantage of a multifactor experiment to investigate the individual and combined effects of experimental warming and increased precipitation on soil C mineralization and 13C and 15N natural abundances at two soil depths (0–10 and 10–20 cm) in a semiarid Inner Mongolian grassland since April 2005. For each soil sample, we calculated potentially mineralizable organic C (C0) from cumulative CO2-C evolved as indicators for labile organic C. The experimental warming significantly decreased soil C mineralization and C0 at the 10–20-cm depth (P < 0.05). Increased precipitation, however, significantly increased soil pH, NO3-N content, soil C mineralization, and C0 at the 0–10-cm depth and moisture and NO3-N content at the 10–20-cm depth (all P < 0.05), while significantly decreased exchangeable NH4+-N content and 13C natural abundances at the two depths (both P < 0.05). There were significant warming and increased precipitation interactions on soil C mineralization and C0, indicating that multifactor interactions should be taken into account in future climatic scenarios. Significantly negative correlations were found between soil C mineralization, C0, and 13C natural abundances across the treatments (both P < 0.05), implying more plant-derived C input into the soils under increased precipitation. Overall, our results showed that experimental warming and increased precipitation exerted different influences on soil C mineralization, which may have significant implications for C cycling in response to climate change in semiarid and arid regions.

Keywords

Warming Increased precipitation Soil carbon mineralization 13C natural abundance Potentially mineralizable organic carbon Grassland 

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Xiaoqi Zhou
    • 1
    • 2
  • Chengrong Chen
    • 2
  • Yanfen Wang
    • 1
  • Zhihong Xu
    • 2
  • Zhengyi Hu
    • 1
  • Xiaoyong Cui
    • 1
  • Yanbin Hao
    • 1
  1. 1.Graduate University of Chinese Academy of SciencesBeijingChina
  2. 2.Environmental Futures CentreGriffith UniversityNathanAustralia

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