Variation in Soil Respiration across Soil and Vegetation Types in an Alpine Valley.

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Version: Final published version
Serval ID
serval:BIB_27E08400A56D
Type
Article: article from journal or magazin.
Collection
Publications
Institution
Title
Variation in Soil Respiration across Soil and Vegetation Types in an Alpine Valley.
Journal
PLoS One
Author(s)
Grand S., Rubin A., Verrecchia E.P., Vittoz P.
ISSN
1932-6203 (Electronic)
ISSN-L
1932-6203
Publication state
Published
Issued date
2016
Peer-reviewed
Oui
Volume
11
Number
9
Pages
e0163968
Language
english
Abstract
BACKGROUND AND AIMS: Soils of mountain regions and their associated plant communities are highly diverse over short spatial scales due to the heterogeneity of geological substrates and highly dynamic geomorphic processes. The consequences of this heterogeneity for biogeochemical transfers, however, remain poorly documented. The objective of this study was to quantify the variability of soil-surface carbon dioxide efflux, known as soil respiration (Rs), across soil and vegetation types in an Alpine valley. To this aim, we measured Rs rates during the peak and late growing season (July-October) in 48 plots located in pastoral areas of a small valley of the Swiss Alps.
FINDINGS: Four herbaceous vegetation types were identified, three corresponding to different stages of primary succession (Petasition paradoxi in pioneer conditions, Seslerion in more advanced stages and Poion alpinae replacing the climactic forests), as well as one (Rumicion alpinae) corresponding to eutrophic grasslands in intensively grazed areas. Soils were developed on calcareous alluvial and colluvial fan deposits and were classified into six types including three Fluvisols grades and three Cambisols grades. Plant and soil types had a high level of co-occurrence. The strongest predictor of Rs was soil temperature, yet we detected additional explanatory power of sampling month, showing that temporal variation was not entirely reducible to variations in temperature. Vegetation and soil types were also major determinants of Rs. During the warmest month (August), Rs rates varied by over a factor three between soil and vegetation types, ranging from 2.5 μmol m-2 s-1 in pioneer environments (Petasition on Very Young Fluvisols) to 8.5 μmol m-2 s-1 in differentiated soils supporting nitrophilous species (Rumicion on Calcaric Cambisols).
CONCLUSIONS: Overall, this study provides quantitative estimates of spatial and temporal variability in Rs in the mountain environment, and demonstrates that estimations of soil carbon efflux at the watershed scale in complex geomorphic terrain have to account for soil and vegetation heterogeneity.
Keywords
soil science, Vallon de Nant, Switzerland, vegetation, climate, organic matter, respiration, CO2
Pubmed
Web of science
Open Access
Yes
Create date
03/10/2016 10:36
Last modification date
20/08/2019 13:07
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