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Soil respiration in Chinese tea gardens: autotrophic and heterotrophic respiration

Fan, L. C., Han, W. Y.
European journal of soil science 2018 v.69 no.4 pp. 675-684
models, seasonal variation, soil respiration, soil temperature, trenching, water content
SUMMARY: To obtain an improved understanding of the response of soil respiration (RS) to soil temperature and water content, we used a trenching treatment that could divide RS into autotrophic (RA) and heterotrophic respiration (RH) components in Chinese tea gardens in 2013. The results of the linear and non‐linear relations of RH and RA with soil temperature and water content showed that temperature rather than water content was the main factor controlling the seasonality of RH and RA in Chinese tea gardens. The rates of RH and RA were fitted well in 14 models that took soil temperature or water content into account. Exponential models of soil temperature–moisture could explain the seasonal variation in RH and RA better than the single‐factor models. Temperature sensitivity (Q₁₀) values between RH and RA were not significantly different. The relative contribution (RC) of RA to RS in the tea gardens was 50–63%. This study will facilitate the development of models to investigate components of respiration in soil in general, and also improve our understanding of the response of these components to soil temperature and moisture. HIGHLIGHTS: Respiration in soil of Chinese tea gardens was partitioned to autotrophic and heterotrophic. Autotrophic and heterotrophic respiration were fitted in 14 models with soil temperature or moisture. Exponential temperature–moisture models fitted autotrophic and heterotrophic respiration better than single factor models. Autotrophic respiration is as sensitive to temperature as heterotrophic respiration.