iForest - Biogeosciences and Forestry


Spatial heterogeneity of soil respiration in a seasonal rainforest with complex terrain

Q-H Song (1-3), Z-H Tan (1-2)   , Y-P Zhang (1), M Cao (1), L-Q Sha (1), Y Tang (1), N-S Liang (2), D Schaefer (2), J-F Zhao (1-3), J-B Zhao (1-3), X Zhang (1), L Yu (1-3), X-B Deng (1)

iForest - Biogeosciences and Forestry, Volume 6, Issue 2, Pages 65-72 (2013)
doi: https://doi.org/10.3832/ifor0681-006
Published: Feb 07, 2013 - Copyright © 2013 SISEF

Research Articles

Although numerous studies have been conducted to investigate ecosystem-scale soil respiration, our understanding of this process is still incomplete, especially with respect to the spatial variability and ecological factors that drive such variability in respiration. The present study was conducted to investigate the respiration, structural parameters and soil properties in a seasonal rainforest with complex topography. Specifically, we sampled a 20-ha plot in intervals of 20 m to measure the soil respiration. Based on the entire 20-ha plot, the spatial mean soil respiration rate was 4.09 µmol m-2 s-1 and 2.71 µmol m-2 s-1 during the rainy and dry season, respectively. Strong spatial heterogeneity was observed, with coefficients of variance of 42% and 38% being obtained for the rainy and dry season, respectively. The patch size of soil respiration was approximately 40 m, which was much smaller than that of the soil temperature and water content. Soil-respiration hot spots induced a right-skewed probability density function of soil respiration in space. However, termite mounds did not account for the respiration hot spots. The required number of sampling points in our studied forest was estimated to be 71 and 51 for the rainy and dry season, respectively.


Semivariance, Soil Physical and Chemical Properties, Soil-respiration Hot Spots, Stand Structure

Authors’ address

Q-H Song
Z-H Tan
Y-P Zhang
M Cao
L-Q Sha
Y Tang
J-F Zhao
J-B Zhao
X Zhang
L Yu
X-B Deng
Key Laboratory of Tropical Forest Ecology, Xishuangbanna Tropical Botanical Garden, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Menglun, 666303 Yunnan (China)
Z-H Tan
N-S Liang
D Schaefer
Center for Global Environmental Research, National Institute for Environmental Studies, Tsukuba, 305-8506 Ibaraki (Japan)
Q-H Song
J-F Zhao
J-B Zhao
L Yu
University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, 100039 Beijing (China)

Corresponding author



Song Q-H, Tan Z-H, Zhang Y-P, Cao M, Sha L-Q, Tang Y, Liang N-S, Schaefer D, Zhao J-F, Zhao J-B, Zhang X, Yu L, Deng X-B (2013). Spatial heterogeneity of soil respiration in a seasonal rainforest with complex terrain. iForest 6: 65-72. - doi: 10.3832/ifor0681-006

Academic Editor

Roberto Tognetti

Paper history

Received: Jul 10, 2012
Accepted: Jan 14, 2013

First online: Feb 07, 2013
Publication Date: Apr 02, 2013
Publication Time: 0.80 months

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