|Soil CO2 efflux in a degraded raised bog is regulated by water table depth rather than recent plant assimilate||downloads: 355 | type: pdf | size: 771 kB|
Volume 17 (2016) Article 01
Soil CO2 efflux in a degraded raised bog is regulated by water table depth rather than recent plant assimilate.
by U.H. Kritzler, R.R.E. Artz and D. Johnson
Published online: 28.02.2016
Understanding the climatic and biological factors that regulate soil carbon dioxide (CO2) efflux is crucial in peatlands because they contain a large proportion of terrestrial carbon (C). We predicted that rainfall reduction would increase soil CO2 efflux, and that cessation of below-ground allocation of recent plant assimilate would reduce soil CO2 efflux. These predictions were tested in the field using rainfall shelters that allowed a maximum of 40 % of rainfall onto 2 × 2 m plots by diverting rainwater from the shelter roofs with guttering, and by girdling stems of the dominant plant, Calluna vulgaris, for two years. We also used 13CO2-pulse labelling of intact monoliths at ambient CO2 concentrations to trace recent assimilate from plant shoots to roots, bulk soil, leachate, dissolved organic carbon (DOC) and soil CO2 efflux . Soil CO2 efflux in the sheltered plots increased in Year 1 but not in Year 2, and we found a positive relationship between soil CO2 efflux and water table depth. Our data indicate that lowering the water table below a critical threshold (15–20 cm) affects soil CO2 efflux. Girdling of C. vulgaris shoots resulted in no measurable reduction in soil CO2 efflux, while only ~3 % of 13C fixed by shoots was recovered in soil CO2 efflux and DOC in the 20 days after labelling. Our findings show that below-ground allocation of recent assimilate from C. vulgaris plants > 6 years old has little impact on soil CO2 efflux.
Kritzler, U.H., Artz, R.R.E. & Johnson, D. (2016): Soil CO2 efflux in a degraded raised bog is regulated by water table depth rather than recent plant assimilate. Mires and Peat 17: Art. 01. (Online: http://www.mires-and-peat.net/pages/volumes/map17/map1701.php); 10.19189/MaP.2015.OMB.203
IMCG and IPS acknowledge the work of the reviewers.