Pedosphere 19(6): 799--807, 2009
ISSN 1002-0160/CN 32-1315/P
©2009 Soil Science Society of China
Published by Elsevier B.V. and Science Press
Precipitation pulses and soil CO2 emission in desert shrubland of Artemisia ordosica on the Ordos Plateau of Inner Mongolia, China
JIN Zhao1,2, DONG Yun-She1, QI Yu-Chun1 and M. DOMROES3
1 Institute of Geographical Sciences and Natural Resources Research, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100101 (China)
2 State Key Laboratory of Loess and Quaternary Geology, Institute of Earth Environment, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Xi'an 710075 (China)
3 Institute of Geography, Mainz University, Mainz 55099 (Germany)
ABSTRACT
      Precipitation is the major driver of ecosystem functions and processes in semiarid and arid regions. In such water- limited ecosystems, pulsed water inputs directly control the belowground processes through a series of soil drying and rewetting cycles. To investigate the effects of sporadic addition of water on soil CO2 efflux, an artificial precipitation event (3 mm) was applied to a desert shrub ecosystem in the Mu Us Sand Land of the Ordos Plateau in China. Soil respiration rate increased 2.8-4.1 times immediately after adding water in the field, and then it returned to background level within 48 h. During the experiment, soil CO2 production was between 2 047.0 and 7 383.0 mg m-2. In the shrubland, soil respiration responses showed spatial variations, having stronger pulse effects beneath the shrubs than in the interplant spaces. The spatial variation of the soil respiration responses was closely related with the heterogeneity of soil substrate availability. Apart from precipitation, soil organic carbon and total nitrogen pool were also identified as determinants of soil CO2 loss in desert ecosystems.
Key Words:  desert shrub ecosystem, Mu Us sand land, soil respiration response, water addition
Citation: Jin, Z., Dong, Y. S., Qi, Y. C. and Domroes, M. 2009. Precipitation pulses and soil CO2 emission in desert shrubland of Artemisia ordosica on the Ordos Plateau of Inner Mongolia, China. Pedosphere. 19(6): 799-807.
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