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Rainfall intensification increases the contribution of rewetting pulses to soil heterotrophic respiration

Manzoni, Stefano and Chakrawal, Arjun and Fischer, Thomas and Schimel, Joshua P. and Porporato, Amilcare and Vico, Giulia (2020). Rainfall intensification increases the contribution of rewetting pulses to soil heterotrophic respiration. Biogeosciences. 17 , 4007-4023
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Abstract

Soil drying and wetting cycles promote carbon(C) release through large heterotrophic respiration pulses at rewetting, known as the “Birch” effect. Empirical evidence shows that drier conditions before rewetting and larger changes in soil moisture at rewetting cause larger respiration pulses. Because soil moisture varies in response to rainfall, these respiration pulses also depend on the random timing and intensity of precipitation. In addition to rewetting pulses, heterotrophic respiration continues during soil drying, eventually ceasing when soils are too dry to sustain microbial activity. The importance of respiration pulses in contributing to the overall soil heterotrophic respiration flux hasbeen demonstrated empirically, but no theoretical investigation has so far evaluated how the relative contribution ofthese pulses may change along climatic gradients or as precipitation regimes shift in a given location. To fill this gap,we start by assuming that heterotrophic respiration rates during soil drying and pulses at rewetting can be treated as random variables dependent on soil moisture fluctuations, and we develop a stochastic model for soil heterotrophic respi-ration rates that analytically links the statistical properties of respiration to those of precipitation. Model results show that both the mean rewetting pulse respiration and the mean respiration during drying increase with increasing mean pre-cipitation. However, the contribution of respiration pulses to the total heterotrophic respiration increases with decreasing precipitation frequency and to a lesser degree with decreas-ing precipitation depth, leading to an overall higher contribution of respiration pulses under future more intermittent and intense precipitation. Specifically, higher rainfall intermittency at constant total rainfall can increase the contribution of respiration pulses up to ∼10 % or 20 % of the total heterotrophic respiration in mineral and organic soils, respectively. Moreover, the variability of both components of soil heterotrophic respiration is also predicted to increase under these conditions. Therefore, with future more intermittent precipitation, respiration pulses and the associated nutrient release will intensify and become more variable, contributing more to soil biogeochemical cycling.

Authors/Creators:Manzoni, Stefano and Chakrawal, Arjun and Fischer, Thomas and Schimel, Joshua P. and Porporato, Amilcare and Vico, Giulia
Title:Rainfall intensification increases the contribution of rewetting pulses to soil heterotrophic respiration
Year of publishing :2020
Volume:17
Page range:4007-4023
Number of Pages:17
Publisher:Copernicus Publications, The European Geosciences Union
ISSN:1726-4170
Language:English
Publication Type:Journal article
Article category:Scientific peer reviewed
Version:Published version
Copyright:Creative Commons: Attribution 4.0
Full Text Status:Public
Subjects:(A) Swedish standard research categories 2011 > 1 Natural sciences > 105 Earth and Related Environmental Sciences > Physical Geography
URN:NBN:urn:nbn:se:slu:epsilon-p-105250
Permanent URL:
http://urn.kb.se/resolve?urn=urn:nbn:se:slu:epsilon-p-105250
Additional ID:
Type of IDID
DOI10.5194/bg-17-4007-2020
ID Code:17397
Faculty:NJ - Fakulteten för naturresurser och jordbruksvetenskap
Department:(NL, NJ) > Dept. of Crop Production Ecology
Deposited By: SLUpub Connector
Deposited On:04 Sep 2020 07:05
Metadata Last Modified:04 Sep 2020 07:05

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