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Nitrogen depositions increase soil respiration and decrease temperature sensitivity in a Moso bamboo forest

Li, Quan, Song, Xinzhang, Chang, Scott X., Peng, Changhui, Xiao, Wenfa, Zhang, Junbo, Xiang, Wenhua, Li, Yan, Wang, Weifeng
Agricultural and forest meteorology 2019 v.268 pp. 48-54
Phyllostachys edulis, air temperature, carbon dioxide, field experimentation, forests, microbial biomass, microbial carbon, models, nitrates, nitrogen, prediction, soil microorganisms, soil respiration, soil temperature
Nitrogen (N) deposition plays an important role in regulating forest productivity and microbial biomass and activities, ultimately influencing soil respiration (Rs). However, the effects of increasing atmospheric N depositions on Rs in subtropical Moso bamboo forests remain poorly understood. Here, we conducted a 4-year field experiment in a subtropical Moso bamboo forest to quantify the effect of simulated N depositions at four rates (0, 30, 60 and 90 kg N ha−1 yr-1) on Rs. The mean Rs rate of the control was 353.17 ± 53.23 mg CO2 m-2 h-1 or 30.75 ± 2.38 t CO2 ha-1 yr-1. Soil respiration showed significantly higher sensitivity (Q10) to soil temperature than to air temperature, and the Rs rate was significantly positively related to soil microbial biomass carbon, soil temperature, and NO3-. In response to N addition treatments of 30, 60, and 90 kg N ha-1 yr-1, the mean annual Rs increased by approximately 45.7%, 37.7%, and 13.0%, respectively, compared with the control. Nitrogen depositions decreased the temperature sensitivity of Rs, leading to predictions that they may be able to mitigate the priming effects of future climate warmings on Rs in Moso bamboo forests in the coming decades. Combined models based on the significant relationships between Rs rates, daily mean air temperatures, and hourly soil temperatures at a depth of 5 cm may reliably and feasibly estimate annual soil CO2 efflux. On average, soil emitted 470 kg CO2 ha-1 yr-1 per 1 kg N ha-1 yr-1 added, which declined when N addition surpassed the N saturation threshold of 60 kg N ha-1 yr-1. Our findings provide a method for estimating annual soil CO2 efflux and new insights into the effects of N deposition rates on soil CO2 efflux in Moso bamboo forests.