A new incubation and measurement approach to estimate the temperature response of soil organic matter decomposition

A reliable and precise estimate of the temperature sensitivity (Q10) of soil organic matter (SOM) decomposition is critical to predict feedbacks between the global carbon (C) cycle and climate change. In this study, we first summarize two commonly used approaches for estimating Q10 (Approach A: constant temperature incubation and discontinuous measurements, CDM model; Approach B: varying temperature incubation and discontinuous measurements, VDM model). We then introduced a newly developed approach (Approach C, VCM model) that combines rapidly varying temperature incubations and continuous measurements of SOM decomposition rates (Rs) that may be more realistic and suitable for Q10 estimation, especially for large scale estimation. Then, we conducted a 26-day incubation experiment using three different soils to compare the performance of these three approaches for estimating Q10 using R2 and P-values as indicators. Our results demonstrate that the fitting goodness of the exponential model was consistently higher for Approach C, with higher R2 values, lower confidence intervals, and lower P-values in almost all cases compared with Approaches A and B. Furthermore, results showed that Approaches A and B underestimated the Q10 value by 9.5–13% and 2.9–5.7%, respectively, in three different soils throughout the entire incubation period. Compared with traditional commonly used methods, the newly developed Approach C (VCM model) provides a more accurate and rapid estimation of the temperature response of SOM decomposition and can be used for large-scale estimation of Q10. © 2019 Elsevier Ltd

Liu Y.1, 2 , He N.1, 2, 3 , Xu L.1 , Tian J.1 , Gao Y.1, 2 , Zheng S.4 , Wang Q.1 , Wen X.1, 2 , Xu X.1 , Yakov K. 5, 6, 7
Elsevier Ltd
  • 1 Key Laboratory of Ecosystem Network Observation and Modeling, Institute of Geographic Sciences and Natural Resources Research, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, 100101, China
  • 2 College of Resources and Environment, University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, 100049, China
  • 3 Institute of Grassland Science, Northeast Normal University, and Key Laboratory of Vegetation Ecology, Ministry of Education, Changchun, 130024, China
  • 4 State Environmental Protection Key Laboratory of Wetland Ecology and Vegetation Restoration, Northeast Normal University, Changchun, 130117, China
  • 5 Department of Soil Science of Temperate Ecosystems, Department of Agricultural Soil Science, University of Goettingen, Göttingen, 37077, Germany
  • 6 Agro-Technology Institute, RUDN University, Moscow, Russian Federation
  • 7 Institute of Environmental Sciences, Kazan Federal University, Kazan, 420049, Russian Federation
Microbial adaption; Soil organic matter decomposition; Substrates depletion; Temperature sensitivity
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