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Title

Seasonal soil and leaf CO2 exchanges rates in a Mediterranean holm oak forest and their responses to drought conditions

AuthorsAsensio, D.; Peñuelas, Josep; Ogaya, Romá; Llusia, Joan
KeywordsRoots
Microorganisms
Soil CO2 exchange
Foliar net photosynthetic rates
Mediterranean holm oak forest
Climate change
Drought
Issue DateApr-2007
PublisherElsevier
CitationAtmospheric Environment 41(11) : 2447–2455 (2007)
AbstractWe measured the soil and leaf CO2 exchange in Quercus ilex and Phillyrea latifolia seasonally throughout the year in a representative site of the Mediterranean region, a natural holm oak forest growing in the Prades Mountains in southeastern Catalonia. In the wet seasons (spring and autumn), we experimentally decreased soil moisture by 30%, by excluding rainfall and water runoff in 12 plots, 1×10 m, and left 12 further plots as controls. Our aim was to predict the response of these gas exchanges to the drought forecasted for the next decades for this region by GCM and ecophysiological models. Annual average soil CO2 exchange rate was 2.27±0.27 μmol CO2 m−2 s−1. Annual average leaf CO2 exchange rates were 8±1 and 5±1 μmol m−2 s−1 in Q. ilex and P. latifolia, respectively. Soil respiration rates in control treatments followed a seasonal pattern similar to photosynthetic activity. They reached maximum values in spring and autumn (2.5–3.8 μmol m−2 s−1 soil CO2 emission rates and 7–15 μmol m−2 s−1 net photosynthetic rates) and minimum values (almost 0 for both variables) in summer, showing that soil moisture was the most important factor driving the soil microbial activity and the photosynthetic activity of plants. In autumn, drought treatment strongly decreased net photosynthesis rates and stomatal conductance of Q. ilex by 44% and 53%, respectively. Soil respiration was also reduced by 43% under drought treatment in the wet seasons. In summer there were larger soil CO2 emissions in drought plots than in control plots, probably driven by autotrophic (roots) metabolism. The results indicate that leaf and soil CO2 exchange may be strongly reduced (by ca. 44%) by the predicted decreases of soil water availability in the next decades. Long-term studies are needed to confirm these predictions or to find out possible acclimation of those processes.
Description9 páginas, 6 figuras.
Publisher version (URL)http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.atmosenv.2006.05.008
URIhttp://hdl.handle.net/10261/63758
DOI10.1016/j.atmosenv.2006.05.008
ISSN1352-2310
Appears in Collections:(CEAB) Artículos
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