Understanding the effects of temperature and moisture on soil organic carbon (SOC) dynamics is crucial to predict the cycling of C in terrestrial ecosystems under a changing climate. For single rice cropping system, there are two contrasting phases of SOC decomposition in rice paddy soils: mineralization under aerobic conditions during the off-rice season and fermentation under anaerobic conditions during the growth season. This study aimed to investigate the effects of soil temperature and moisture on SOC decomposition under the aerobic and subsequently anaerobic conditions.
Materials and methods
Two Japanese paddy soils (Andisol and Inceptisol) were firstly incubated under four temperatures (±5, 5, 15, and 25°C) and two moisture levels (60 and 100% water-filled pore space (WFPS)) under aerobic conditions for 24 weeks. Then, these samples were incubated for 4 weeks at 30°C and under anaerobic conditions. Carbon dioxide (CO2) and methane (CH4) productions were measured during the two incubation stages to monitor the SOC decomposition dynamics. The temperature sensitivity of SOC was estimated by calculation of the Q10 parameter.
Results and discussion
The total CO2 production after the 24-week aerobic incubation was significantly higher in both soils for increasing soil temperature and moisture (P < 0.01). During the subsequent anaerobic incubation, total decomposed C (sum of CO2 and CH4 productions) was significantly lower in samples that had been aerobically incubated at higher temperatures (15 and 25°C). Moreover, CH4 production was extremely low in all soil samples. Total decomposed C after the two incubation stages ranged from 256.8 to 1146.1 mg C kg−1 in the Andisol and from 301.3 to 668.8 mg C kg−1 in the Inceptisol. However, the ratios of total decomposed C to SOC ranged from 0.29 to 1.29% in the Andisol and from 2.21 to 4.91% in the Inceptisol.
Both aerobic and anaerobic decompositions of SOC in two paddy soils were significantly affected by soil temperature and moisture. Maintaining optimal soil temperature and medium moisture during the off-rice season might be an appropriate agricultural management to mitigate CH4 emission in the following rice growth season. Although it is high in SOC content, Andisol has less biodegradable components compared to Inceptisol and this could be a probable reason for the distinct difference in temperature sensitivity of SOC decomposition between two paddy soils.
This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.
Buy single article
Instant access to the full article PDF.
Price includes VAT for USA
Subscribe to journal
Immediate online access to all issues from 2019. Subscription will auto renew annually.
This is the net price. Taxes to be calculated in checkout.
Aulakh MS, Doran JW, Walters DT, Mosier AR, Francis DD (1991) Crop residue type and placement effects on denitrification and mineralization. Soil Sci Soc Am J 55:1020–1025
Batjes NH (1996) Total carbon and nitrogen in the soils of the world. Eur J Soil Sci 47:151–163
Baveye P (2007) Soils and runaway climate change. J Soil Water Conserv 62:139–143
Cheng W, Tsututa H, Chen G, Yagi K (2004) N2O and NO production in various Chinese agricultural soils by nitrification. Soil Biol Biochem 36:953–963
Cheng W, Yagi K, Akiyama H, Nishimura S, Sudo S, Fumoto T, Hasegawa T, Hartley AE, Megonigal JP (2007) An empirical model of soil chemical properties that regulate methane production in Japanese rice paddy soils. J Environ Qual 36:1920–1925
Chevallier T, Woignier T, Toucet J, Blanchart E (2010) Organic carbon stabilization in the fractal pore structure of Andosols. Geoderma 159:182–188
Collins M, Knutti R, Arblaster J, Dufresne J-L, Fichefet T, Friedlingstein P, Gao X, Gutowski WJ, Johns T, Krinner G, Shongwe M, Tebaldi C, Weaver AJ, Wehner M (2013) Long-term climate change: projections, commitments and irreversibility. In: Stocker TF, Qin D, Plattner G, Plattner G-K, Tignor M, Allen SK, Boschung J, Nauels A, Xia Y, Bex V, Midgley PM (eds) Climate change 2013: the physical science basis. Contribution of working group I to the fifth assessment report of the intergovernmental panel on climate change. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, pp. 1029–1136
Conen F, Leifeld J, Seth B, Alewell C (2006) Warming mineralizes young and old soil carbon equally. Biogeosciences 3:515–519
Davidson EA, Janssens IA (2006) Temperature sensitivity of soil carbon decomposition and feedbacks to climate change. Nature 440:165–173
Dorel M, Roger-Estrade J, Manichon H, Delvaux B (2000) Porosity and soil water properties of Caribbean volcanic ash soils. Soil Use Manag 16:133–140
Fang C, Smith P, Moncrieff JB, Smith JU (2005) Similar response of labile and resistant soil organic matter pools to changes in temperature. Nature 433:57–59
Foss JE, Moormann FR, Rieger S (1983) Inceptisols. In: Wilding LP, Smeck NE, Hall GF (eds) Pedogenesis and soil taxonomy: II. The soil orders. Elsevier, New York, pp. 355–381
Frøseth RB, Bleken MA (2015) Effect of low temperature and soil type on the decomposition rate of soil organic carbon and clover leaves, and related priming effect. Soil Biol Biochem 80:156–166
He N, Wang R, Gao Y, Dai J, Wen X, Yu G (2013) Changes in the temperature sensitivity of SOM decomposition with grassland succession: implications for soil C sequestration. Ecol Evol 3:5045–5054
Hoyos N, Comerford N (2005) Land use and landscape effects on aggregate stability and total carbon of Andisols from Colombian Andes. Geoderma 129:268–278
Huang S, Sun Y, Yu X, Zhang W (2016) Interactive effects of temperature and moisture on CO2 and CH4 production in a paddy soil under long-term different fertilization regimes. Biol Fertil Soils 52:285–294
Jassal RS, Black TA, Novak MD, Gaumont-Guay D, Nesic Z (2008) Effect of soil water stress on soil respiration and its temperature sensitivity in an 18-year-old temperate Douglas-fir stand. Glob Chang Biol 14:1305–1318
Karhu K, Auffret MD, Dungait JAJ, Hopkins DW, Prosser JI, Singh BK, Subke JA, Wookey PA, Agren GI, Sebastià MT, Gouriveau F, Bregkvist G, Meir P, Nottingham AT, Salinas N, Hartley IP (2014) Temperature sensitivity of soil respiration rates enhanced by microbial community response. Nature 513:81–84
Kimura M, Murase J, Lu Y (2004) Carbon cycling in rice field ecosystems in the context of input, decomposition and translocation of organic materials and the fates of their end products (CO2 and CH4). Soil Biol Biochem 36:1399–1416
Linn DM, Doran JW (1984) Aerobic and anaerobic microbial populations in no-till and plowed soils. Soil Sci Soc Amer J 48:794–799
Luo Y, Wan S, Hui D, Wallace LL (2001) Acclimatization of soil respiration to warming in a tall grass prairie. Nature 413:622–625
Matus F, Amigo X, Kristiansen SM (2006) Aluminum stabilization controls organic carbon levels in Chilean volcanic soils. Geoderma 132:158–168
Müller T, Höper H (2004) Soil organic matter turnover as a function of the soil clay content: consequences for model applications. Soil Biol Biochem 36:877–888
Nakajima M, Cheng W, Tang S, Hori Y, Yaginuma E, Hattori S, Hanayama S, Tawaraya K, Xu XK (2016) Modeling aerobic decomposition of rice straw during off-rice season in an Andisol paddy soil in a cold temperate region of Japan: effects of soil temperature and moisture. Soil Sci Plant Nutri 62:90–98
Oberbauer SF, Gillespie CT, Cheng W, Gebauer R, Serra AS, Tenhunen JD (1992) Environmental effects on CO2 efflux from riparian tundra in the northern foothills of the brooks range, Alaska, USA. Oecologia 92:568–577
Parfitt RL, Theng BKG, Whitton JS, Shepherd TG (1996) Effects of clay minerals and land use on organic matter pools. Geoderma 75:1–12
Peters V, Conrad R (1996) Sequential reduction processes and initiation of CH4 production upon flooding of oxic upland soils. Soil Biol Biochem 28:371–382
Saggar S, Parshotam A, Sparling GP, Feltham CW, Hart PBS (1996) 14C-labelled ryegrass turnover and residence times in soils varying in clay content and mineralogy. Soil Biol Biochem 28:1677–1686
Shoji S, Nanzyo M, Dahlgren RA (1994) Volcanic ash soils, volume 21: genesis, properties and utilization (developments in soil science). Elsevier, Amsterdam
Sierra CA, Trumbore SE, Davidson EA, Vicca S, Janssens I (2015) Sensitivity of decomposition rates of soil organic matter with respect to simultaneous changes in temperature and moisture. J Adv Model Earth Syst 7:335–356
Smith P, Fang CM, Dawson JJC, Moncrieff JB (2008) Impact of global warming on soil organic carbon. Advances in agronomy vol 97. Elsevier, San Diego, pp. 1–43
Soil Survey Staff (1999) Soil taxonomy: a basic system of soil classification for making and interpreting soil surveys, 2nd, US Department of Agriculture Soil Conservation Service, Washington, DC
Suseela V, Conant RT, Wallenstein MD, Dukes JS (2012) Effects of soil moisture on the temperature sensitivity of heterotrophic respiration vary seasonally in an old-field climate change experiment. Glob Change Biol 18:336–348
Tate KR, Yamamoto K, Churchman GJ, Meinhold R, Newman RH (1990) Relationships between the type and carbon chemistry of humic acids from some New Zealand and Japanese soils. Soil Sci Plant Nutr 36:611–621
Tokida T, Fumoto T, Cheng W, Matsunami T, Adachi M, Katayanagi N, Matsushima M, Okawara Y, Nakamura H, Okada M, Sameshima R, Hasegawa T (2010) Effects of free-air CO2 enrichment (FACE) and soil warming on CH4 emission from a rice paddy field: impact assessment and stoichiometric evaluation. Biogeosciences 7:2639–2653
Trumbore SE, Czimczik CI (2008) An uncertain future for soil carbon. Science 321:1455–1456
Vanhala P, Karhu K, Tuomi M, Sonninen E, Jungner H, Fritze H, Liski J (2007) Old soil carbon is more temperature sensitive than the young in an agricultural field. Soil Biol Biochem 39:2967–2970
von Lützow M, Kögel-Knabner I (2009) Temperature sensitivity of soil organic matter decomposition-what do we know? Biol and Fert Soils 46:1–15
Wang Y, Hao Y, Cui X, Zhao H, Xu C, Zhou X, Xu Z (2014) Responses of soil respiration and its components to drought stress. J Soils Sediments 14:99–109
Watanabe I (1984) Anaerobic decomposition of organic matter in flooded rice soils. In: IRRI (Ed) Organic Matter and Rice (pp 237–238). IRRI, Los Banos, Philippines
Xu X, Luo Y, Zhou J (2012) Carbon quality and the temperature sensitivity of soil organic carbon decomposition in a tallgrass prairie. Soil Biol Biochem 50:142–148
Xu X, Yin L, Duan C, Jing Y (2016a) Effect of N addition, moisture, and temperature on soil microbial respiration and microbial biomass in forest soil at different stages of litter decomposition. J Soils Sediments 16:1421–1439
Xu X, Zhou Y, Ruan H, Luo Y, Wang J (2010) Temperature sensitivity increases with soil organic carbon recalcitrance along an elevational gradient in the Wuyi Mountains, China. Soil Biol Biochem 42:1811–1815
Xu XK, Duan CT, Wu HH, Li TS, Cheng WG (2016b) Effect of intensity and duration of freezing on soil microbial biomass, extractable C and N pools, and N2O and CO2 emissions from forest soils in cold temperate region. Sci China Earth Sci 59:156–169
Yanai Y, Toyota K, Okazaki M (2004) Effects of successive soil freeze-thaw cycles on nitrification potential of soils. Soil Sci Plant Nutr 50:821–829
Yao H, Conrad R, Wassmann R, Neue HU (1999) Effect of soil characteristics on sequential reduction and methane production in sixteen rice paddy soils from China, the Philippines, and Italy. Biogeochemistry 47:269–295
Zhou P, Li Y, Ren X, Xiao H, Tong C, Ge T, Brookes PC, Shen J, Wu J (2014a) Organic cabon mineralization responses to temperature increases in subtropical paddy soils. J Soils Sediments 14:1–9
Zhou W, Hui D, Shen W (2014b) Effects of soil moisture on the temperature sensitivity of soil heterotrophic respiration: a laboratory incubation study. PLoS One 9(3):e92531
We gratefully acknowledge Dr. M. Kumugai and Mr. H. Shiono for providing the soil samples and laboratory mates for their assistance on experimental managements. This study is financially supported by UGAS-IU Student Research Grant from the United Graduate School of Agricultural Sciences, Iwate University, and the National Natural Science Foundation of China (21228701).
Responsible editor: Nives Ogrinc
Electronic supplementary material
About this article
Cite this article
Tang, S., Cheng, W., Hu, R. et al. Decomposition of soil organic carbon influenced by soil temperature and moisture in Andisol and Inceptisol paddy soils in a cold temperate region of Japan. J Soils Sediments 17, 1843–1851 (2017). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11368-016-1607-y
- Aerobic and anaerobic incubations
- SOC decomposition