Ecosystems

, Volume 11, Issue 8, pp 1352–1367

Soil Respiration in European Grasslands in Relation to Climate and Assimilate Supply

Authors

    • Institute of EcologyUniversity of Innsbruck
  • Mirco Rodeghiero
    • Centro di Ecologia Alpina-Fondazione Edmund Mach
  • Margaret Anderson-Dunn
    • Centre for Ecology and Hydrology Edinburgh
  • Sabina Dore
    • Department of Forest Science and EnvironmentUniversity of Tuscia
  • Cristina Gimeno
    • Fundación Centro de Estudios Ambientales del Mediterráneo
  • Matthias Drösler
    • Department of Plant EcologyUniversity of Bayreuth
  • Michael Williams
    • Department of Botany, School of Natural ScienceTrinity College, University of Dublin
  • Christof Ammann
    • Federal Research Station for Agroecology and Agriculture
  • Frank Berninger
    • Department of Forest EcologyUniversity of Helsinki
  • Chris Flechard
    • Federal Research Station for Agroecology and Agriculture
  • Stephanie Jones
    • Centre for Ecology and Hydrology Edinburgh
  • Manuela Balzarolo
    • Department of Forest Science and EnvironmentUniversity of Tuscia
  • Suresh Kumar
    • Department of Botany, School of Natural ScienceTrinity College, University of Dublin
  • Christian Newesely
    • Institute of EcologyUniversity of Innsbruck
  • Tibor Priwitzer
    • National Forest Centre-Forest Research Institute
  • Antonio Raschi
    • Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche
  • Rolf Siegwolf
    • Paul-Scherrer-Institute
  • Sanna Susiluoto
    • National Forest Centre-Forest Research Institute
  • John Tenhunen
    • Department of Plant EcologyUniversity of Bayreuth
  • Georg Wohlfahrt
    • Institute of EcologyUniversity of Innsbruck
  • Alexander Cernusca
    • Institute of EcologyUniversity of Innsbruck
Article

DOI: 10.1007/s10021-008-9198-0

Cite this article as:
Bahn, M., Rodeghiero, M., Anderson-Dunn, M. et al. Ecosystems (2008) 11: 1352. doi:10.1007/s10021-008-9198-0

Abstract

Soil respiration constitutes the second largest flux of carbon (C) between terrestrial ecosystems and the atmosphere. This study provides a synthesis of soil respiration (R s) in 20 European grasslands across a climatic transect, including ten meadows, eight pastures and two unmanaged grasslands. Maximum rates of R s ( \( R_{{{\text{s}}_{{{\text{max}}}} }} \)), R s at a reference soil temperature (10°C; \( R_{{{\text{s}}_{{{\text{10}}}} }} \)) and annual R s (estimated for 13 sites) ranged from 1.9 to 15.9 μmol CO2 m−2 s−1, 0.3 to 5.5 μmol CO2 m−2 s−1 and 58 to 1988 g C m−2 y−1, respectively. Values obtained for Central European mountain meadows are amongst the highest so far reported for any type of ecosystem. Across all sites \( R_{{{\text{s}}_{{{\text{max}}}} }} \) was closely related to \( R_{{{\text{s}}_{{{\text{10}}}} }} \). Assimilate supply affected R s at timescales from daily (but not necessarily diurnal) to annual. Reductions of assimilate supply by removal of aboveground biomass through grazing and cutting resulted in a rapid and a significant decrease of R s. Temperature-independent seasonal fluctuations of R s of an intensively managed pasture were closely related to changes in leaf area index (LAI). Across sites \( R_{{{\text{s}}_{{{\text{10}}}} }} \) increased with mean annual soil temperature (MAT), LAI and gross primary productivity (GPP), indicating that assimilate supply overrides potential acclimation to prevailing temperatures. Also annual R s was closely related to LAI and GPP. Because the latter two parameters were coupled to MAT, temperature was a suitable surrogate for deriving estimates of annual R s across the grasslands studied. These findings contribute to our understanding of regional patterns of soil C fluxes and highlight the importance of assimilate supply for soil CO2 emissions at various timescales.

Keywords

soil CO2 efflux temperature moisture gross primary productivity leaf area index soil carbon land use

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2008