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Simulated nitrogen deposition significantly reduces soil respiration in an evergreen broadleaf forest in western China



Simulated nitrogen deposition significantly reduces soil respiration in an evergreen broadleaf forest in western China



Plos One 13(9): E0204661



Soil respiration is the second largest terrestrial carbon (C) flux; the responses of soil respiration to nitrogen (N) deposition have far-reaching influences on the global C cycle. N deposition has been documented to significantly affect soil respiration, but the results are conflicting. The response of soil respiration to N deposition gradients remains unclear, especially in ecosystems receiving increasing ambient N depositions. A field experiment was conducted in a natural evergreen broadleaf forest in western China from November 2013 to November 2015 to understand the effects of increasing N deposition on soil respiration. Four levels of N deposition were investigated: control (Ctr, without N added), low N (L, 50 kg N ha-1·a-1), medium N (M, 150 kg N ha-1·a-1), and high N (H, 300 kg N ha-1·a-1). The results show that (1) the mean soil respiration rates in the L, M, and H treatments were 9.13%, 15.8% (P < 0.05) and 22.57% (P < 0.05) lower than that in the Ctr treatment (1.56 ± 0.13 μmol·m-2·s-1), respectively; (2) soil respiration rates showed significant positive exponential and linear relationships with soil temperature and moisture (P < 0.01), respectively. Soil temperature is more important than soil moisture in controlling the soil respiration rate; (3) the Ctr, L, M, and H treatments yielded Q10 values of 2.98, 2.78, 2.65, and 2.63, respectively. N deposition decreased the temperature sensitivity of soil respiration; (4) simulated N deposition also significantly decreased the microbial biomass C and N, fine root biomass, pH and extractable dissolved organic C (P < 0.05). Overall, the results suggest that soil respiration declines in response to N deposition. The decrease in soil respiration caused by simulated N deposition may occur through decreasing the microbial biomass C and N, fine root biomass, pH and extractable dissolved organic C. Ongoing N deposition may have significant impacts on C cycles and increase C sequestration with the increase in global temperature in evergreen broadleaf forests.

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Accession: 065917493

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PMID: 30261036

DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0204661


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