Plant and Soil

, Volume 338, Issue 1, pp 329–342

Short-term effects of rain on soil respiration in two New England forests


    • School of Forestry & Environmental StudiesYale University
  • Xuhui Lee
    • School of Forestry & Environmental StudiesYale University
Regular Article

DOI: 10.1007/s11104-010-0548-2

Cite this article as:
Wu, H. & Lee, X. Plant Soil (2011) 338: 329. doi:10.1007/s11104-010-0548-2


To gain new insights into the underlying mechanisms responsible for wetting-induced soil respiration, rain simulation field experiments were carried out in two temperate mixed-hardwood forests in New England (Great Mountain Forest and Harvard Forest). The rain-induced CO2 pulses were observed in both xeric and mesic soils. The pulse intensity was negatively correlated with the site moisture level and the pre-rain soil CO2 flux. At both forests, plots without O horizon responded to wetting with limited or even negative enhancement, confirming previous finding that the rain pulse was likely due to enhanced microbial consumption on substrates mainly of microbial origin. Our results show that the flux rain pulse was a reproducible phenomenon not limited to dry soils.


Birch effectCarbon cyclingPrecipitationPulse dynamicsSimulated wettingSoil moistureSoil respirationGreat Mountain ForestHarvard Forest

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2010