Articles | Volume 12, issue 11
Biogeosciences, 12, 3655–3664, 2015
Biogeosciences, 12, 3655–3664, 2015

Research article 12 Jun 2015

Research article | 12 Jun 2015

Soil moisture influence on the interannual variation in temperature sensitivity of soil organic carbon mineralization in the Loess Plateau

Y. J Zhang1,2, S. L Guo1,3,4, M. Zhao4, L. L. Du1, R. J. Li1, J. S. Jiang3, R. Wang4, and N. N. Li1 Y. J Zhang et al.
  • 1State Key Laboratory of Soil Erosion and Dry-land Farming on the Loess Plateau, Institute of Soil and Water Conservation, Northwest A&F University, Yangling 712100, China
  • 2Geography and Environmental Engineering Department, Baoji University of Arts and Sciences, Baoji 721013, China
  • 3Institute of Soil and Water Conservation, Chinese Academy of Sciences and Ministry of Water Resource, Yangling 712100, China
  • 4College of Resources and Environment, Northwest A&F University, Yangling 712100, China

Abstract. Temperature sensitivity of soil organic carbon (SOC) mineralization (i.e., Q10) determines how strong the feedback from global warming may be on the atmospheric CO2 concentration; thus, understanding the factors influencing the interannual variation in Q10 is important for accurately estimating local soil carbon cycle. In situ SOC mineralization rate was measured using an automated CO2 flux system (Li-8100) in long-term bare fallow soil in the Loess Plateau (35°12' N, 107°40' E) in Changwu, Shaanxi, China from 2008 to 2013. The results showed that the annual cumulative SOC mineralization ranged from 226 to 298 g C m−2 yr−1, with a mean of 253 g C m−2 yr−1 and a coefficient of variation (CV) of 13%, annual Q10 ranged from 1.48 to 1.94, with a mean of 1.70 and a CV of 10%, and annual soil moisture content ranged from 38.6 to 50.7% soil water-filled pore space (WFPS), with a mean of 43.8% WFPS and a CV of 11%, which were mainly affected by the frequency and distribution of precipitation. Annual Q10 showed a quadratic correlation with annual mean soil moisture content. In conclusion, understanding of the relationships between interannual variation in Q10, soil moisture, and precipitation are important to accurately estimate the local carbon cycle, especially under the changing climate.

Final-revised paper