Biology and Fertility of Soils

, Volume 27, Issue 3, pp 258–262 | Cite as

Temperature dependence of organic matter decomposition: a critical review using literature data analyzed with different models

  • T. Kätterer
  • M. Reichstein
  • O. Andrén
  • A. Lomander
ORIGINAL PAPER

Abstract

 The literature was reviewed regarding laboratory incubation studies where C mineralization was measured. Experiments were selected in which the same substrate was incubated at least at two different temperatures and where time-series were available with at least four measurements for each substrate and temperature. A first-order one-component model and a parallel first-order two-component model were fitted to the CO2–C evolution data in each experiment using a least-squares procedure. After normalising for a reference temperature, the temperature coefficient (Q10) function and three other temperature response functions were fitted to the estimated rate constants. The two-component model could describe the dynamics of the 25 experiments much more adequately than the one-component model (higher R2, adjusted for the number of parameters), even when the rate constants for both were assumed to be equally affected by temperature. The goodness-of-fit did not differ between the temperature response models, but was affected by the choice of the reference temperature. For the whole data set, a Q10 of 2 was found to be adequate for describing the temperature dependence of decomposition in the intermediate temperature range (about 5–35  °C). However, for individual experiments, Q10 values deviated greatly from 2. At least at temperatures below 5  °C, functions not based on Q10 are probably more adequate. However, due to the paucity of data from low-temperature incubations, this conclusion is only tentative, and more experimental work is called for.

Key words Carbon evolution Decomposition Modelling Temperature coefficient (Q10) Temperature effects 

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1998

Authors and Affiliations

  • T. Kätterer
    • 1
  • M. Reichstein
    • 2
  • O. Andrén
    • 1
  • A. Lomander
    • 3
  1. 1.SLU, Department of Soil Sciences, Box 7014, S-75007 Uppsala, Sweden e-mail: thomas.katterer@mv.slu.se; Fax: +46-18-672795SE
  2. 2.Bayreuth Institute of Ecosystem Research, Department of Plant Ecology, D-95440 Bayreuth, Germany e-mail: markus.reichstein@bitoek.uni-bayreuth.deDE
  3. 3.SLU, Department of Forest Soils, Box 7001, S-75007 Uppsala, SwedenSE

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