Alteration in the amount of soil organic matter input can have profound effect on carbon dynamics in forest soils. The objective of our research was to determine the response in soil respiration to above- and belowground organic matter manipulation in a Chinese pine (Pinus tabulaeformis) plantation. Five organic matter treatments were applied during a 2-year experiment: both litter removal and root trenching (LRRT), only litter removal (LR), control (CK), only root trenching (RT) and litter addition (LA). We found that either aboveground litter removal or root trenching decreased soil respiration. On average, soil respiration rate was significantly decreased in the LRRT treatment, by about 38.93% ± 2.01% compared to the control. Soil respiration rate in the LR treatment was 30.65% ± 1.87% and in the RT treatment 17.65% ± 1.95% lower than in the control. Litter addition significantly increased soil respiration rate by about 25.82% ± 2.44% compared to the control. Soil temperature and soil moisture were the main factors affecting seasonal variation in soil respiration. Up to the 59.7% to 82.9% seasonal variation in soil respiration is explained by integrating soil temperature and soil moisture within each of the various organic matter treatments. The temperature sensitivity parameter, Q<inf>10</inf>, was higher in the RT (2.72) and LA (3.19) treatments relative to the control (2.51), but lower in the LRRT (1.52) and LR treatments (1.36). Our data suggest that manipulation of soil organic matter input can not only alter soil CO<inf>2</inf> efflux, but also have profound effect on the temperature sensitivity of organic carbon decomposition in a temperate pine forest.
Fan, J., Wang, J., Zhao, B., Wu, L., Zhang, C., Zhao, X., & Gadow, K. V. (2015). Effects of manipulated above- and belowground organic matter input on soil respiration in a Chinese pine plantation. PLoS ONE, 10(5). https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0126337