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1. chinaXiv:201707.00510 [pdf]

Soil wetting decreases the level of apparent activation energy for microbial respiration in subtropical forest ecosystems

Hao, Guangcun; Zhao, Weiping; Zhuang, Qianlai; Wei, Hui; Zhu, Qing; Liu, Yaling; Shen, Weijun
Subjects: Biology >> Ecology

Apparent activation energy (Ea) is one of the most important and sensitive parameters that control soil organic C (SOC) decomposition in prevailing earth system models (ESMs). The variation of apparent Ea is affected by multiple soil environmental factors, among which soil moisture exerts a strong effect. Aiming to better inform temperature sensitivity parameterization in ESMs, here we examined the relationship between apparent Ea and soil moisture with both incubation experiment and field measurement in subtropical forests. We found that apparent Ea declined as soil moisture increased, consistently in both incubation and field experiments. We speculated that this phenomenon was due to altered microbial community composition from changing soil moisture. Our results suggest that future warming and changing precipitation would significantly affect the decomposition of recalcitrant carbon pools in subtropical forests. Lacking representation of the impact of soil moisture on SOC decomposition temperature sensitivity in current ESMs might have biased climate projection.

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