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Biogeosciences An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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https://doi.org/10.5194/bg-2019-236
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
https://doi.org/10.5194/bg-2019-236
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Submitted as: research article 18 Jul 2019

Submitted as: research article | 18 Jul 2019

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This discussion paper is a preprint. It is a manuscript under review for the journal Biogeosciences (BG).

Soil carbon release responses to long-term versus short-term climatic warming in an arid ecosystem

Hongying Yu1,2, Zhenzhu Xu1, Guangsheng Zhou1,3, and Yao Shou1,3 Hongying Yu et al.
  • 1State Key Laboratory of Vegetation and Environmental Change, Institute of Botany, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100093, China
  • 2University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, 100049, China
  • 3Chinese Academy of Meteorological Sciences, China Meteorological Administration, Beijing 100081, China

Abstract. Climate change severely impacts grassland carbon cycling, especially in arid ecosystems, such as desert steppes. However, little is known about the responses of soil respiration (Rs) to different warming magnitudes and watering pulses in situ in desert steppes. To examine their effects on Rs, we conducted long-term moderate warming, short-term acute warming and watering field experiments in a desert grassland of Northern China. While experimental warming significantly reduced Rs by 32.5 % and 40.8 % under long-term and moderate and short-term and acute warming regimes, respectively, watering pulses stimulated it substantially. Warming did not change the exponential relationship between Rs and soil temperature, whereas the relationship of Rs with soil water content (SWC) was well fitted to the Gompertz function. The soil features were not significantly affected by either long-term or short-term warming regimes, respectively; however, soil organic carbon content tended to decrease with long-term climatic warming. This indicates that soil carbon release responses strongly depend on the duration and magnitude of climatic warming, which may be driven by SWC and soil temperature. The results of this study highlight the great dependence of soil carbon emission on warming regimes of different durations and the important role of precipitation pulse during growing season in assessing the terrestrial ecosystem carbon balance and cycle.

Hongying Yu et al.
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Short summary
Climate change severely impacts grassland carbon cycling, especially in arid ecosystems, such as desert steppes. The current results highlight the great dependence of soil carbon emission on warming regimes of different duration and the important role of precipitation pulse during growing season in assessing the terrestrial ecosystem carbon balance and cycle.
Climate change severely impacts grassland carbon cycling, especially in arid ecosystems, such as...
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