The relationship of respiration in organic and mineral soil layers to soil chemical properties
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Respiration rates of the forest floor, exclusive of the L layer, and of the mineral horizons from three soils developed under pine and hardwoods in the North Carolina Piedmont were measured with a Warburg respirometer. Respiration, based on carbon content of the soil, decreased with depth through the A1 horizon, but subdivisions of the A2 showed no difference. When all soil layers were considered, there were no significant differences in respiration between cover type or soil series. However, in the least decomposed organic layer, the F1, respiration of pine litter was 77 per cent of that of hardwood litter, and respiration of Georgeville or Colfax soils was only 58 per cent of that of Iredell soil. Regression analyses, primarily with inorganic soil nutrient factors, accounted for over 90 per cent of the variation in respiration in the organic layers but for less than 50 per cent in the mineral soil under hardwoods. Up to 15 factors were included in equations, but four factors explained at least 70 per cent of the variation accounted for by regression.
KeywordsRespiration Regression Analysis Respiration Rate Soil Layer Mineral Soil
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