Although information regarding the spatial variability of soil respiration is important for understanding carbon cycling and developing a suitable sampling design for estimating average soil respiration, it remains relatively understudied compared to temporal changes. In this study, soil respiration was measured at 35 locations by season on a slope of Japanese cedar forest in order to examine temporal changes in the spatial distribution of soil respiration. Spatial variability of soil respiration varied between seasons, with the highest coefficient variation in winter (42%) and lowest in summer (26%). Semivariogram analysis and kriged maps revealed different patterns of spatial distribution in each season. Factors affecting the spatial variability were relief index (autumn), soil hardness of the A layer (winter), soil hardness at 50 cm depth (spring) and the altitude and relief index (summer). Annual soil respiration (average: 39 mol m-2 y-1) varied from 26 mol m-2 y-1 to 55 mol m-2 y-1 between the 35 locations and was higher in the upper part of the slope and lower in the lower part. The average Q10 value was 2.3, varying from 1.3 to 3.0 among the locations. These findings suggest that insufficient information on the spatial variability of soil respiration and imbalanced sampling could bias estimates of current and future carbon budgets.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Soil Science