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Soil heterotrophic respiration and its temperature sensitivity in different-aged orange plantations in Three Gorges Reservoir area of China

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Author(s): ZHANG Wen-Li | LIU Ju | WANG Jian-Zhu | CHEN Fang-Qing

Journal: Chinese Journal of Plant Ecology
ISSN 1752-9921

Volume: 34;
Issue: 11;
Start page: 1265;
Date: 2010;

Keywords: laboratory simulation | orange plantation | planting years | Q10 value | soil microbial biomass carbon

ABSTRACT
Aims Orange (Citrus reticulate) plantations, as the primary industry of the Three Gorges Reservoir area of China, play a significant regulatory role in the maintenance of ecological balance in the region. Our objectives were to examine the main factors controlling soil heterotrophic respiration and its temperature sensitivity in three different-aged orange plantations and discuss their potential responses to future climate change in this region.Methods A laboratory simulation was conducted with soil samples collected at 0–10 cm depth from three different-aged orange plantations in Yichang. Samples were incubated in the laboratory at 5, 15, 25, and 35 °C, respectively, and the alkali absorption method was applied to measure soil respiration. Soil physical and chemicalproperties were also measured.Important findings With increasing age of the plantation, soil organic content and total nitrogen content increased, while soil pH and microbial biomass carbon decreased. The younger orange plantations released less CO2 from soil heterotrophic respiration under all temperature conditions. Compared with other studies, temperature sensitivity coefficients of soil heterotrophic respiration (Q10) in the orange plantations in this region were relatively low (1.45–1.69). All Q10 value changed with culture time. The temperature sensitivity coefficient of soil heterotrophic respiration of the plantations decreased with planting years, indicating that younger orange plantations will be more sensitive to future global warming than the older ones.
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