Journal of Forestry Research

, Volume 21, Issue 4, pp 461–464 | Cite as

Effect of canopy composition on soil CO2 emission in a mixed sprucebeech forest at Solling, Central Germany

Original Paper


It was hypothesized that soil respiration can be affected by canopy composition. Hence, admixture of trees as a common forest management practice may cause significant change in the carbon cycling. This study was conducted in a mixed spruce-beech stand at Solling forest in central Germany to investigate the effect of canopy composition on soil respiration. The canopy cover was classified in four major canopy classes (pure beech, pure spruce, mixed and gap), and the area under each canopy class was identified as a sub-plot. Soil respiration in each sub-plot (n=4) was measured monthly from Jun 2005 to July 2006. Results show significant difference in annual soil respiration between the beech (359 g·m−2·a−1 C) and gap (211 g·m−2·a−1 C) sub-plots. The estimation of the total below-ground carbon allocation (TBCA) based on a model given by Raich and Nadelhoffer revealed considerably higher root CO2 production in the beech sub-plot (231 g·m−2·a−1 C) compare to the gap sub-plot (51 g·m−2·a−1 C). The contribution of the root respiration to the total soil respiration was higher in the soil under the beech canopy (59%) compared with the soil in the gap (29%). The findings suggested that the condition under the beech canopy may cause more desirable micro-site for autotrophic respiration and consequently higher CO2 release into the atmosphere.


canopy class soil respiration gaps total belowground carbon allocation 


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Copyright information

© Northeast Forestry University and Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Seyed Mohammd Hojjati
    • 1
  • Norbert P. Lamersdorf
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Forestry, Natural Resources FacultySari Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources UniversitySariIran
  2. 2.Buesgen Institute- Soil Science of Temperate and Boreal EcosystemsGeorg-August University of GoettingenGoettingenGermany

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