Soil respiration in a high arctic glacier foreland in Ny-Alesund, Svalbard.

Yukiko S. Bekku, Atsushi Kume, Takehiro Masuzawa, Hiroshi Kanda, Takayuki Nakatsubo, Hiroshi Koizumi

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Soil respiration rates were measured in a successional glacier foreland in Ny-Alesund, Svalbard, and the amount of CO2 efflux during the plant-growing season was estimated using a simple regression model. Three study sites (Site 1, Site 2 and Site 3) were set up along with the primary succession in the deglaciated area of East Br_gger glacier in Ny-Alesund, Svalbard, Norway (79N 12E). Another study site, Site RB, was set up on a riverbed in the Bay River between Site 2 and Site 3. Soil respiration (SR), air temperature at 10 cm height (AT), soil surface temperature (SST) and soil temperature at 1 cm depth (ST) were measured at the four study sites with an open-airflow system using an infra-red gas analyzer from July to August, 1995. The mean soil respiration rate varied among the four sites: 6.2, 44, 63 and 3.7 mg CO2 m-2 h-1 at Site 1, Site 2, Site 3 and Site RB, respectively. These differences in the soil respiration rate among the four sites corresponded with the soil organic amount, microbial biomass, and root biomass. The soil respiration rate showed the best correlation with AT at Site 1, Site 2 and Site RB, and with ST at Site 3. The cumulative amount of CO2 efflux calculated using correlation equations obtained from the above relationships between SR and AT or ST was 5.8, 46, 69 and 3.3 g CO2 m-2 at Site 1, Site 2, Site 3 and Site RB, respectively, for two months (from July to August, 1995). These values were extremely low compared to those of warmer ecosystems, such as low-arctic tundra, temperate mixed forests, and tropical moist forests.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)36-46
Number of pages11
JournalPolar Bioscience
Publication statusPublished - Feb 1 2004


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