, Volume 369, Issue 1-2, pp 631-644,
Open Access This content is freely available online to anyone, anywhere at any time.
Date: 31 Jan 2013

Soil CO2 efflux in a bioenergy plantation with fast-growing Populus trees – influence of former land use, inter-row spacing and genotype



In this study we quantified the annual soil CO2 efflux (annual SCE) of a short rotation coppice plantation in its establishment phase. We aimed to examine the effect of former (agricultural) land use type, inter-row spacing and genotype.


Annual SCE was quantified during the second growth year of the establishment rotation in a large scale poplar plantation in Flanders. Automated chambers were distributed over the two former land use types, the two different inter-row spacings and under two poplar genotypes. Additional measurements of C, N, P, K, Mg, Ca and Na concentrations of the soil, pH, bulk density, fine root biomass, microbial biomass C, soil mineralization rate, distance to trees and tree diameters were performed at the end of the second growth year.


Total carbon loss from soil CO2 efflux was valued at 589 g m−2 yr−1. Annual SCE was higher in former pasture as compared to cropland, higher in the narrow than in the wider inter-row spacings, but no effect of genotype was found.


Spatial differences in site characteristics are of great importance for understanding the effect of ecosystem management and land use change on soil respiration processes and need to be taken into account in modeling efforts of the carbon balance.

Responsible Editor: Zucong Cai.