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Environmental Earth Sciences

, Volume 62, Issue 6, pp 1163–1171 | Cite as

Effects of nitrogen fertilization on soil respiration in temperate grassland in Inner Mongolia, China

  • Qin Peng
  • Yunshe DongEmail author
  • Yuchun Qi
  • Shengsheng Xiao
  • Yating He
  • Tao Ma
Original Article

Abstract

Nitrogen addition to soil can play a vital role in influencing the losses of soil carbon by respiration in N-deficient terrestrial ecosystems. The aim of this study was to clarify the effects of different levels of nitrogen fertilization (HN, 200 kg N ha−1 year−1; MN, 100 kg N ha−1 year−1; LN, 50 kg N ha−1 year−1) on soil respiration compared with non-fertilization (CK, 0 kg N ha−1 year−1), from July 2007 to September 2008, in temperate grassland in Inner Mongolia, China. Results showed that N fertilization did not change the seasonal patterns of soil respiration, which were mainly controlled by soil heat-water conditions. However, N fertilization could change the relationships between soil respiration and soil temperature, and water regimes. Soil respiration dependence on soil moisture was increased by N fertilization, and the soil temperature sensitivity was similar in the treatments of HN, LN, and CK treatments (Q 10 varied within 1.70–1.74) but was slightly reduced in MN treatment (Q 10 = 1.63). N fertilization increased soil CO2 emission in the order MN > HN > LN compared with the CK treatment. The positive effects reached a significant level for HN and MN (P < 0.05) and reached a marginally significant level for LN (P = 0.059 < 0.1) based on the cumulative soil respiration during the 2007 growing season after fertilization (July–September 2007). Furthermore, the differences between the three fertilization treatments and CK reached the very significant level of 0.01 on the basis of the data during the first entire year after fertilization (July 2007–June 2008). The annual total soil respiration was 53, 57, and 24% higher than in the CK plots (465 g m−2 year−1). However, the positive effects did not reach the significant level for any treatment in the 2008 growing season after the second year fertilization (July–September 2008, P > 0.05). The pairwise differences between the three N-level treatments were not significant in either year (P > 0.05).

Keywords

Soil respiration Nitrogen fertilization Temperate grassland China 

Notes

Acknowledgments

This work was financially supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant No: 40730105, 40673067 and 40501072), and the Ministry of Science and Technology of China (Grant No: 2007BAC03A11). We are grateful to the Inner Mongolia Grassland Ecosystem Research Station (IMGERS) for providing the experimental sites to the research team.

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Qin Peng
    • 1
    • 2
  • Yunshe Dong
    • 1
    Email author
  • Yuchun Qi
    • 1
  • Shengsheng Xiao
    • 1
    • 2
  • Yating He
    • 1
    • 2
  • Tao Ma
    • 3
  1. 1.Institute of Geographic Sciences and Natural Resources ResearchChinese Academy of SciencesBeijingChina
  2. 2.Graduate School of the Chinese Academy of SciencesBeijingChina
  3. 3.College of Resource and Environment ScienceNorthwestern Agricultural and Forestry UniversityYanglingChina

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