An overlooked mechanism underlying the attenuated temperature response of soil heterotrophic respiration

A - Papers appearing in refereed journals

Zhang, X., Whalley, P. A., Gregory, A. S., Whalley, W. R., Coleman, K., Neal, A. L., Mooney, S. J., Soga, K. and Illangasekare, T. H. 2022. An overlooked mechanism underlying the attenuated temperature response of soil heterotrophic respiration. Journal of the Royal Society Interface. 19 (192), p. 20220276. https://doi.org/10.1098/rsif.2022.0276

AuthorsZhang, X., Whalley, P. A., Gregory, A. S., Whalley, W. R., Coleman, K., Neal, A. L., Mooney, S. J., Soga, K. and Illangasekare, T. H.
Abstract

Biogeochemical reactions occurring in soil pore space underpin gaseous emissions measured at macroscopic scales but are difficult to quantify due to their complexity and heterogeneity. We develop a volumetric-average method to calculate aerobic respiration rates analytically from soil with microscopic soil structure represented explicitly. Soil water content in the model is the result of the volumetric-average of the microscopic processes, and it is nonlinearly coupled with temperature and other factors. Since many biogeochemical reactions are driven by oxygen (O2) which must overcome various resistances before reaching reactive microsites from the atmosphere, the volumetric-average results in negative feedback between temperature and soil respiration, with the magnitude of the feedback increasing with soil water content and substrate quality. Comparisons with various experiments show the model reproduces the variation of carbon dioxide emission from soils under different water content and temperature gradients, indicating that it captures the key microscopic processes underpinning soil respiration. We show that alongside thermal microbial adaptation, substrate heterogeneity and microbial turnover and carbon use efficiency, O2 dissolution and diffusion in water associated with soil pore space is another key explanation for the attenuated temperature response of soil respiration and should be considered in developing soil organic carbon models.

KeywordsSoil respiration; Oxygen dissolution and diffusion; Temperature response of soil respiration; Microscopic soil structure
Year of Publication2022
JournalJournal of the Royal Society Interface
Journal citation19 (192), p. 20220276
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.1098/rsif.2022.0276
PubMed ID35855594
Web address (URL)https://royalsocietypublishing.org/doi/epdf/10.1098/rsif.2022.0276
Open accessPublished as ‘gold’ (paid) open access
FunderNatural Environment Research Council
Funder project or codeS2N - Soil to Nutrition - Work package 1 (WP1) - Optimising nutrient flows and pools in the soil-plant-biota system
Publisher's version
Accepted author manuscript
Supplemental file
Output statusPublished
Publication dates
Online20 Jul 2022
Publication process dates
Accepted01 Jul 2022
PublisherRoyal Society Publishing
ISSN1742-5689

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