Short-term response of soil respiration to nitrogen fertilization in a subtropical evergreen forest

Journal Article (Journal Article)

Little is known about the effects of nitrogen (N) additions on soil respiration (Rs) in tropical and subtropical forests. We therefore conducted an N-fertilization experiment in a subtropical evergreen forest in eastern China to better understand the short-term response of Rs to increased N availability. N additions stimulated Rs compared to control plots, yet the magnitude of the increase depended on the amount of N added, with Rs being greater in the low-N treatment (50kgNha-1yr-1) than the high-N treatment (100kgNha-1yr-1). Differences in Rs among treatments correlated with changes in fine root biomass, suggesting increases in Rs reflect those in autotrophic respiration. Our findings challenge the dogma that N fertilization often reduces soil respiration and highlights the need to better understand the effects of low N additions, so as to reliably predict how projected climate change scenarios may affect the cycling of soil carbon (C) in tropical and subtropical forests. © 2014.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Gao, Q; Hasselquist, NJ; Palmroth, S; Zheng, Z; You, W

Published Date

  • January 1, 2014

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 76 /

Start / End Page

  • 297 - 300

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0038-0717

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1016/j.soilbio.2014.04.020

Citation Source

  • Scopus