A comparison of soil respiration, carbon balance and root carbon use efficiency in two managed Moso bamboo forests in subtropical China
Keywords:soil respiration, carbon cycling, net ecosystem production, carbon use efficiency, Moso bamboo forests
AbstractMoso bamboo forest (Phyllostachys heterocycla [Carr.] Mitford cv. Pubescens) is an important forest type in subtropical China and comprises an important pool in the global carbon cycle. Understanding the effects of the stand management, such as understory removal, on soil respiration (RS) will help to provide a more accurate estimation of carbon cycling and predict future climate change. The study aimed to compare RS and net ecosystem production (NEP) in two Moso bamboo forests managed by the application of herbicide (AH) and conventional hand-weeded (HW) treatment, and further examine their root carbon use efficiency (RCUE). Trenching and litter removal were used to partition the source components of RS and one-year field measurement was conducted. Maximum-minimum approach was used to estimate fine root production. NEP was determined by the balance between NPP of vegetation and heterotrophic respiration (RH) of soil. RCUE was calculated using an indirect method. In both stands, soil temperature and soil moisture at 5 cm depth were the main driving forces to the seasonality of RS. Annual RS was 31.6 t CO2 ha-1 for the stand AH and 33.9 t CO2 ha-1 for the stand HW, while net ecosystem production (NEP) were 21.9 and 21.1 t CO2 ha-1, respectively, indicating that the both Moso bamboo stands acted as carbon sinks in the scenarios of current climate change. The RCUE was 30.6% for the stand AH, which was significantly lower than that for the stand HW (58.8%). This result indicates that different stand management practices can alter RCUE and the assumed constant universal carbon use efficiency (CUE) of 50% is not appropriate in Moso bamboo forests. This study highlight the importance of partition the source components of RS and accurate estimation of RCUE in modelling carbon cycling in Moso bamboo forests.
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