Plant and Soil

, Volume 308, Issue 1–2, pp 105–117 | Cite as

Fluxes of nitrous oxide, methane and carbon dioxide during freezing–thawing cycles in an Inner Mongolian steppe

  • J. Holst
  • C. Liu
  • Z. Yao
  • N. Brüggemann
  • X. Zheng
  • M. Giese
  • K. Butterbach-Bahl
Regular Article

Abstract

Fluxes of nitrous oxide (N2O), methane (CH4) and carbon dioxide (CO2) were followed at winter-grazed (WG) and ungrazed steppe (UG99) in Inner Mongolia during the winter–spring transition of 2006. Mean fluxes during the period March 12–May 11 were 8.2 ± 0.5 (UG99) and 1.5 ± 0.2 μg N2O–N m−2 h−1 (WG) for N2O, 7.2 ± 0.2 (UG99) and 3.0 ± 0.1 mg CO2–C m−2 h−1 (WG) for CO2 and −42.5 ± 0.9 (UG99) and −14.1 ± 0.3 μg CH4–C m−2 h−1 (WG) for CH4. Our data show that N2O emissions from semi-arid steppe are strongly affected by freeze–thawing. N2O emissions reached values of up to 75 μg N2O–N m−2 h−1 at the UG99 site, but were considerably lower at the WG site. The observed differences in N2O, CH4 and CO2 fluxes between the ungrazed and grazed sites were ascribed to the reduced plant biomass at the grazed site, and—most important—to a reduction in soil moisture, due to reduced snow capturing during winter. Thus, winter-grazing significantly reduced N2O emission but on the other hand also reduced the uptake of atmospheric CH4. To finally evaluate which of the both effects is most important for the non-CO2 greenhouse gas balance measurements covering an entire year are needed.

Keywords

Nitrous oxide Methane Carbon dioxide Freeze–thaw events Semi-arid grassland Grazing Inner Mongolia MAGIM 

References

  1. Alm J, Saarnio S, Nykänen H, Silvola J, Martikainen PJ (1999) Winter CO2, CH4 and N2O fluxes on some natural and drained boreal peatlands. Biogeochemistry 44:163–186Google Scholar
  2. Boone RD, Nadelhoffer KJ, Canary JD, Kaye JP (1998) Roots exert a strong influence on the temperature sensitivity of soil respiration. Nature 396:570–572CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Borken W, Davidson EA, Savage K, Sundquist ET, Steudler P (2006) Effect of summer throughfall exclusion, summer drought, and winter snow cover on methane fluxes in a temperate forest soil. Soil Biol Biochem 38:1388–1395CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Breuer L, Papen H, Butterbach-Bahl K (2000) N2O emissions from tropical forest soils of Australia. J Geophys Res 105:26353–26367CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Brooks PD, Williams MW, Schmidt SK (1996) Microbial activity under alpine snowpacks, Niwot Ridge, Colorado. Biogeochemistry 32:93–113CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Brooks PD, Schmidt SK, Williams MW (1997) Winter production of CO2 and N2O from alpine tundra: environmental controls and relationship to inter-system C and N fluxes. Oecologia 110:403–413Google Scholar
  7. Butterbach-Bahl K, Papen H (2002) Four years continuous record of CH4-exchange between the atmosphere and untreated limed soil of a N-saturated spruce and beech forest ecosystem in Germany. Plant Soil 240:77–90CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Chen Y, Tessier S, MacKenzie AF, Laverdière MR (1995) Nitrous oxide emission from an agricultural soil subjected to different freeze–thaw cycles. Agr Ecosyst Environ 55:123–128CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Conrad R (2002) Microbiological and biochemical background of production and consumption of NO and N2O in soil. In: Gasche et al (eds) Trace gas exchange in forest ecosystems. Kluwer Academic Publishers, Dordrecht, Boston, London, pp 3–33Google Scholar
  10. Christensen S, Tiedje JM (1990) Brief and vigorous N2O production by soil at spring thaw. J Soil Sci 41:1–4CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Del Grosso SJ, Parton WJ, Mosier AR, Ojima DS, Potter CS, Borken W, Brumme R, Butterbach-Bahl K, Crill PM, Dobbie K, Smith KA (2000) General CH4 oxidation model and comparison of CH4 oxidation in natural and managed systems. Global Biogeoch Cycl 14:999–1020CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. DeLuca TH, Keeney DR, McCarthy GW (1992) Effect of freeze–thaw events on mineralization of soil nitrogen. Biol Fertil Soils 14:116–120CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Dörsch P, Palojärvi A, Mommertz S (2004) Overwinter greenhouse gas fluxes in two contrasting agricultural habitats. Nutr Cycl Agroecosys 70:117–133CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Edwards AC, Cresser MS (1992) Freezing and its effect on chemical and biological properties of soil. Adv Soil Sci 18:61–79Google Scholar
  15. Gao Y, Giese M, Lin S, Sattelmacher B, Brueck H (2008) Belowground net primary productivity and root size of grasslands in Inner Mongolia are affected by land-use management. New Phytologist (in press)Google Scholar
  16. Giese M, Gao Y, Steffens M, Schneider K, Lin S, Sattelmacher B, Brueck H (2008) Grazing affects plant communities by altering water and nutrient availability in semi-arid grasslands of Inner Mongolia. J Arid Environ (in press)Google Scholar
  17. Groffman PM, Tiedje JM (1991) Relationships between denitrification, CO2 production and air-filled porosity in soils of different texture and drainage. Soil Biol Biochem 23:299–302CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Groffman PM, Hardy JP, Driscoll CT, Fahey TJ (2006) Snow depth, soil freezing, and fluxes of carbon dioxide, nitrous oxide and methane in a northern hardwood forest. Global Change Biol 12:1748–1760CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Herrmann A, Witter E (2002) Sources of C and N contributing to the flush in mineralization upon freeze–thaw cycles in soils. Soil Biol Biochem 34:1495–1505CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Hoffmann C, Funk R, Wieland R, Li Y (2008) Effects of grazing and topography on dust flux and deposition in the Xilingele grassland, Inner Mongolia. J Arid Environ 72(5):792–807CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Holst J, Liu C, Brüggemann N, Butterbach-Bahl K, Zheng X, Wang Y, Han S, Yao Z, Han X (2007a) Microbial N turnover and N-oxide (N2O/NO/NO2) fluxes in semi-arid grassland of Inner Mongolia. Ecosystems 10:623–634CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Holst J, Liu C, Yao X, Brüggemann N, Zheng X, Han X, Butterbach-Bahl K (2007b) Importance of point sources on regional nitrous oxide fluxes in semi-arid steppe of Inner Mongolia, China. Plant Soil 296:209–226CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Kamman C, Grünhage L, Müller C, Jacobi S, Jäger HJ (1998) Seasonal variability and migitation options for N2O emissions from differently managed grasslands. Environ Pollut 102:179–186CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Khalil MI, Baggs EM (2005) CH4 oxidation and N2O emissions at varied soil water-filled pore spaces and headspace CH4 concentrations. Soil Biol Biochem 37:1785–1794CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Koponen HT, Martikainen PJ (2004) Soil water content and freezing temperature affect freeze–thaw related N2O production in organic soil. Nutr Cycl Agroecosys 69:213–219CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Koponen HT, Duran CE, Maljanen M, Hytönen J, Martikainen PJ (2006) Temperature response of NO and N2O emissions from boreal organic soils. Soil Biol Biochem 38:1779–1787CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Kurganova IN, Tipe P (2003) The effect of freezing–thawing processes on soil respiration activity. Eurasian Soil Sci 36:976–985Google Scholar
  28. Liang E, Vennetier M, Lin J, Shao X (2003) Relationships between tree increment, climate and above-ground biomass of grass: a case study in the typical steppe, north China. Acta Oecol 24:87–94CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Liu C, Holst J, Brüggemann N, Butterbach-Bahl K, Yao Z, Jin Y, Han S, Han X, Krümmelbein J, Horn R, Zheng X (2007) Grazing reduces methane uptake by soils in a semi-arid steppe in Inner Mongolia, China. Atmos Environ 41:5948–5958CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Liu C, Holst J, Brüggemann N, Butterbach-Bahl K, Yao Z, Han S, Zheng X (2008) Effects of irrigation on nitrous oxide, methane and carbon dioxide fluxes in an Inner Mongolian steppe. Adv Atmos Sci 5 (in press)Google Scholar
  31. Ludwig B, Wolf I, Teepe R (2004) Contribution of nitrification and denitrification to the emission of N2O in a freeze–thaw event in an agricultural soil. J Plant Nutr Soil Sci 167:678–684CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Ludwig B, Teepe R, de Gerenyu VL, Flessa H (2006) CO2 and N2O emissions from gleyic soils in the Russian tundra and a German forest during freeze–thaw periods—a microcosm study. Soil Biol Biochem 38:3516–3519CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Margesin R, Neuner G, Storey KB (2007) Cold-loving microbes, plants, and animals—fundamental and applied aspects. Naturwissenschaften 94:77–99PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Mikan CJ, Schimel JP, Doyle AP (2002) Temperature controls of microbial respiration in arctic tundra soils above and below freezing. Soil Biol Biochem 34:1785–1795CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Mosier AR, Parton WJ, Valentine DW, Ojima DS, Schimel DS, Delgado JA (1996) CH4 and N2O fluxes in the Colorado shortgrass steppe: 1. Impact of landscape and nitrogen addition. Glob Biogeochem Cycles 10:387–399CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Müller C, Martin M, Stevens RJ, Laughlin RJ, Kammann C, Ottow JCG, Jäger HJ (2002) Processes leading to N2O emissions in grassland soil during freezing and thawing. Soil Biol Biochem 34:1325–1331CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Müller C, Kammann C, Ottow JCG, Jäger HJ (2003) Nitrous oxide emission from frozen grassland soil and during thawing periods. J Plant Nutr Soil Sci 166:46–53CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Mørkved PT, Dörsch P, Henriksen TM, Bakken LR (2006) N2O emissions and product ratios of nitrification and denitrification as affected by freezing and thawing. Soil Biol Biochem 38:3411–3420CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Öquist MG, Nilsson M, Sörensson F, Kasimir-Klemedtsson Ǻ, Persson T, Weslien P, Klemedtsson L (2004) Nitrous oxide production in a forest soil at low temperatures—processes and environmental controls. FEMS Microbiol Ecol 49:371–378CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  40. Panoff JM, Thammavongs B, Guéguen M, Boutibonnes P (1998) Cold stress responses in mesophilic bacteria. Cryobiology 36:75–83PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Panikov NS, Dedysh SN (2000) Cold season CH4 and CO2 emission from boreal peat bogs (West Siberia): winter fluxes and thaw activation dynamics. Global Biogeochem Cycles 14(4):1071–1080CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Panikov NS, Flanagan PW, Oechel WC, Mastepanov MA, Christensen TR (2006) Microbial activity in soils frozen to below −39°C. Soil Biol Biochem 38:785–794CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Papen H, Butterbach-Bahl K (1999) A 3-year continuous record of nitrogen trace gas fluxes from untreated and limed soil of an N-saturated spruce and beech forest ecosystems in Germany. 1. N2O emissions. J Geophys Res 104:18487–18503CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Phadtare S, Alsina J, Inouye M (1999) Cold-shock response and cold-shock proteins. Curr Opin Microbiol 2:175–180PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Priemé A, Christensen S (2001) Natural perturbations, drying–wetting and freezing–thawing cycles, and the emission of nitrous oxide, carbon dioxide and methane from farmed organic soils. Soil Biol Biochem 33:2083–2091CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Ripley EA (1992) Grassland climate. In: Coupland RT (ed) Natural Grasslands. Introduction and western hemisphere. Ecosystems of the world. Vol. 8A. Elsevier, Amsterdam, London, New York, Tokyo, pp 7–24Google Scholar
  47. Rivkina EM, Friedmann EI, McKay CP, Gilichinsky DA (2000) Metabolic activity of permafrost bacteria below the freezing point. Appl Environ Microb 66:3230–3233CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. Rosenkranz P, Brüggemann N, Papen H, Xu Z, Seufert G, Butterbach-Bahl K (2006) N2O, NO and CH4 exchange, and microbial N turnover over a Mediterranean pine forest soil. Biogeosciences 3:121–133CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. Röver M, Heinemeyer O, Kaiser EA (1998) Microbial induced nitrous oxide emissions from an arable soil during winter. Soil Biol Biochem 1998:1859–1865CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. Sakai A, Larcher W (1987) Frost survival of plants. Responses and adaptations to freezing stress. In: Billings WD, Golley F, Lange OL, Olson S, Remmert H (eds) Ecological studies, vol. 62. Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  51. Schimel JP, Clein JS (1996) Microbial response to freeze–thaw cycles in tundra and taiga soils. Soil Biol Biochem 28:1061–1066CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  52. Schimel JP, Mikan C (2005) Changing microbial substrate use in Arctic tundra soils through a freeze–thaw cycle. Soil Biol Biochem 37:1411–1418CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  53. Skogland T, Lomeland S, Goksøyr J (1988) Respiratory burst after freezing and thawing of soil: experiments with soil bacteria. Soil Biol Biochem 20:851–856CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  54. Sommerfeld RA, Mosier AR, Musselman RC (1993) CO2, CH4 and N2O flux through a Wyoming snowpack and implications for global budgets. Nature 361:140–142CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  55. Steffens M, Köbl A, Totsche KU, Kögel-Knabner I (2008) Grazing effects on soil chemical and physical properties in a semiarid steppe of Inner Mongolia (P.R. China). Geoderma 143:63–72CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  56. Stähli M, Stadler D (1997) Measurement of water and solute dynamics in freezing soil columns with time domain reflectometry. J Hydrol 195:352–369CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  57. Tanghe A, van Dijck P, Thevelein JM (2006) Why do microorganisms have aquaporins? Trends Microbiol 14:78–85PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  58. Teepe R, Brumme R, Beese F (2000) Nitrous oxide emissions from frozen soils under agricultural, fallow and forest land. Soil Biol Biochem 32:1807–1810CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  59. Teepe R, Brumme R, Beese F (2001) Nitrous oxide emissions from soil during freezing and thawing periods. Soil Biol Biochem 33:1269–1275CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  60. Tierney GL, Fahey TJ, Groffman PM, Hardy JP, Fitzhugh RD, Driscoll CT (2001) Soil freezing alters fine root dynamics in a northern hardwood forest. Biogeochemistry 56:175–190CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  61. Wang Y, Xue M, Zheng X, Ji B, Du R, Wang Y (2005) Effects of environmental factors on N2O emission and CH4 uptake by the typical grasslands in the Inner Mongolia. Chemosphere 58:205–215PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • J. Holst
    • 1
    • 5
  • C. Liu
    • 2
  • Z. Yao
    • 2
  • N. Brüggemann
    • 1
  • X. Zheng
    • 2
  • M. Giese
    • 3
  • K. Butterbach-Bahl
    • 1
    • 4
  1. 1.Institute for Meteorology and Climate Research, Atmospheric Environmental Research (IMK-IFU), Karlsruhe Research Center (FZK)Garmisch-PartenkirchenGermany
  2. 2.Institute for Atmospheric Physics, Chinese Academy of SciencesBeijingPeople’s Republic of China
  3. 3.Institute for Plant Nutrition and Soil Science, Christian Albrecht University KielKielGermany
  4. 4.Institute for Meteorology and Climate Research, Atmospheric Environmental Research (IMK-IFU), Forschungszentrum KarlsruheGarmisch-PartenkirchenGermany
  5. 5.School of Integrative BiologyUniversity of QueenslandBrisbaneAustralia

Personalised recommendations