J Plant Ecol ›› 2020, Vol. 13 ›› Issue (3): 288-294.DOI: 10.1093/jpe/rtaa013

• Research Articles • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Effects of warming on soil respiration during the non-growing seasons in a semiarid temperate steppe

Yuan Miao1, Mengzhou Liu1,2, Juan Xuan1, Wei Xu1, Shilin Wang1, Renhui Miao1, Dong Wang1, Wei Wu3, Yinzhan Liu1, * and Shijie Han1, *   

  1. 1 International Joint Research Laboratory for Global Change Ecology, School of Life Sciences, Henan University, Jin Ming Avenue, Longting District, Kaifeng, Henan 475004, China, 2 National Teaching Demonstration Center for Environment and Planning, College of Environment and Planning, Henan University, Kaifeng 475004, China, 3 School of Humanities, Shanghai University of Finance and Economics, Shanghai 200433, China

    *Corresponding author. E-mail: liuyinzhan.1@163.com (Y.L.); E-mail: hansj@iae.ac.cn (S.H.)
  • Received:2019-10-23 Revised:2020-01-31 Accepted:2020-03-24 Online:2020-04-07 Published:2020-06-01



The response pattern of terrestrial soil respiration to warming during non-growing seasons is a poorly understood phenomenon, though many believe that these warming effects are potentially significant. This study was conducted in a semiarid temperate steppe to examine the effects of warming during the non-growing seasons on soil respiration and the underlying mechanisms associated therewith.


This experiment was conducted in a semiarid temperate grassland and included 10 paired control and experimental plots. Experimental warming was achieved with open top chambers (OTCs) in October 2014. Soil respiration, soil temperature and soil moisture were measured several times monthly from November 2014 to April 2015 and from November 2015 to April 2016. Microbial biomass carbon (MBC), microbial biomass nitrogen (MBN) and available nitrogen content of soil were measured from 0 to 20 cm soil depth. Repeated measurement ANOVAs and paired-sample t tests were conducted to document the effect of warming, and the interactions between warming and time on the above variables. Simple regressions were employed to detect the underlying causality for the observed effects.

Important Findings

Soil respiration rate was 0.24 µmol m−2 s−1 in the control plots during the non-growing seasons, which was roughly 14.4% of total soil carbon flux observed during growing seasons. Across the two non-growing seasons, warming treatment significantly increased soil temperature and soil respiration by 1.48°C (P < 0.001) and 42.1% (P < 0.01), respectively, when compared with control plots. Warming slightly, but did not significantly decrease soil moisture by 0.66% in the non-growing seasons from 2015 to 2016. In the non-growing seasons 2015–16, experimental warming significantly elevated MBC and MBN by 19.72% and 20.99% (both P < 0.05), respectively. In addition, soil respiration responses to warming were regulated by changes in soil temperate, MBC and MBN. These findings indicate that changes in non-growing season soil respiration impact other components in the carbon cycle. Additionally, these findings facilitate projections regarding climate change–terrestrial carbon cycling.

Key words: climate warming, microbial biomass,  non-growing seasons,  soil carbon flux, temperate grasslands


尽管许多研究认为增温对陆地生态系统非生长季土壤呼吸的影响非常重要,但是关于这一问题仍缺乏充分的理解。本论文研究了非生长季增温对温带半干旱草原土壤呼吸的影响,并探讨了其影响机制。本实验位于温带半干旱典型草原,包括10对样地,每对样地包括一个对照和模拟增温处理。模拟增温样地自2014年10月开始,采用开顶箱(OTC)进行。2014年10月到2015年4月,2015年10月到2016年4月期间每月测定几次土壤呼吸、土壤温度与土壤湿度;并测定0-20 cm微生物量碳(MBC)、微生物量氮(MBN)和土壤速效氮。采用重复测量方差和成对t检验方法分析增温、时间及其交互作用对土壤呼吸的影响。采用简单回归确定各指标之间的因果关系。结果表明,对照样地非生长季平均土壤呼吸速率为0.24 µmol m-2 s-1,约占当地生长季碳通量的14.4%。模拟增温在两个非生长季使土壤温度和土壤呼吸分别比对照样地提高了1.48°C (P < 0.001)和42.1% (P < 0.01)。2015-2016年非生长季模拟增温降低了0.66%的土壤湿度,降低幅度不显著。模拟增温处理下2015-2016年非生长季MBC和MBN分别显著提高了19.72%和20.99% (P < 0.05)。此外,研究结果还表明,土壤温度、MBC和MBN的变化调控了土壤呼吸对模拟增温的响应。本结果揭示非生长季土壤呼吸变化能影响碳循环的其它组分,并可以有效促进气候变化背景下陆地生态系统碳循环的模型预测。

关键词: 气候变暖, 微生物量, 非生长季, 土壤碳通量,  温带草原