Soil CO2 Efflux and Its Components Responded Differently to Throughfall Exclusion and Fertilization in a Loblolly Pine (Pinus taeda) Plantation
Abstract:Soil CO2 efflux (RS) is an important component of forest ecosystem carbon budgets and net ecosystem CO2 exchange, but little is known about how RS and its components respond to decreasing soil moisture and changes in soil fertility. The experiment design was a 2 X 2 factorial combination of fertilization (2 levels) and precipitation (throughfall exclusion, 2 levels) replicated in four blocks. We measured RS along with soil temperature (Ts) and soil moisture (WS) from 2012 to 2014 in a loblolly pine plantation in Washington, GA. The autotrophic (RA) and heterotrophic (RH) components of soil CO2 efflux were separated using trenched plots. Our objectives were to (1) quantify impacts of throughfall exclusion and fertilization on RS and its components (RA, RH).and (2) determine soil CO2efflux and its components individually response to environmental factors and biological factors in throughfall exclusion and fertilization treatments.
Annual mean RS was 2.11, 1.73, 2.09 and 1.92 for treatments of control, fertilization, throughfall exclusion and combination of fertilization and throughfall exclusion, respectively, from 2012 to 2013. The apparent Q10 for RS was 2.26, 2.25, 2.12 and 2.35 in the four treatments, respectively. There were no significant differences in RS among treatments except between the Ws treatments. However, there was slight reduction in RS and RA in fertilization and the fertilization plus throughfall exclusion treatment. In all treaments, Ts explained more than 80% of variation in RS. The contribution of CO2-derived from ectomycorrhizal hyphae was less than 15%. RS and RH was better predicted by TS in the dormant season than the growing season, indicating that additional factors such as root growth and photosynthesis became more important contributors to RS during the growing season. Fertilization slightly decreased RS mainly from a decrease in RH. Throughfall exclusion increased the contribution of RA to RS. We concluded that soil moisture had more effect on RS and its components than changes in fertility.