Spatial Heterogeneity of Soil Respiration in a Larch Plantation of North China at Different Sampling Scales

YAN Jun-xia1 LIANG Ya-nan1 LI Hong-jian1 LI Jun-jian1

(1.Institute of Loess Plateau, Shanxi University, Taiyuan, China 030006)

【Abstract】Based on observations of soil respiration rate (Rs) and both biotic and abiotic factors in Pangquangou Nature Reserve at three sampling scales (4, 2, and 1 m), we studied the spatial heterogeneity of Rs and the factors, and analyzed impacts of soil temperature at the 5, 10 and 15 cm depth (T5, T10, T15), soil moisture over the depth of 0–10 cm (Ws), and soil total nitrogen (N), soil total organic carbon (C), ratio of carbon and nitrogen (C/N), soil total sulfur (S), litter fall mass (Lw) and litter fall moisture (Lm) on the spatial heterogeneity of Rs, respectively. We also calculated the minimum sampling number of all the factors at different confidence levels and under the responding estimation accuracy. The results showed that: 1 the spatial heterogeneity of C/N at 4 m sampling scale, Ws at 2 m sampling scale and T10, T15 at 1 m sampling scale had low variability, while the spatial variation of Rs and other related factors had medium variability.. Coefficients of variation of Rs, C/N and S decreased with the increase of the sampling scales, but those of N, C, Ws, T5, T10, T15, Lw and Lm showed contrary trend; 2 the spatial autocorrelation of Rs, Ws, T5, T10, T15, Lw and Lm decreased with the decrease of sampling scales but the spatial autocorrelation of C, N, C/N increased with the decrease of sampling scales, and the spatial autocorrelation of S decreased with the decrease of the sampling scales at initial stage and then increased; 3 the key factors that influenced the spatial heterogeneity of soil respiration were different at different sampling scales. Soil temperature was the key factor influencing the spatial heterogeneity of Rs at a larger scale. However, at a smaller scale,the spatial heterogeneity of Rs was influenced by C, Lw and Lm; 4 the minimum sampling number for soil respiration measurement and its influencing factors reduced greatly with the decrease of confidence level and responding estimation accuracy. The sampling numbers of Rs, C/N and S increased with the decrease of sampling scales, while those of N, C, Ws, T5, T10, T15, Lw and Lm decreased.

【Keywords】 sampling scale; soil factors; soil respiration; spatial heterogeneity; larch plantation;


【Funds】 Fundamental Research Program of Shanxi Province (2014011032-1) National Natural Science Foundation of China (41201374 and 41130528)

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This Article


CN: 11-1895/X

Vol 36, No. 12, Pages 4591-4599

December 2015


Article Outline


  • 1 Materials and methods
  • 2 Results and analysis
  • 3 Discussion
  • 4 Conclusions
  • References