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ARS Home » Pacific West Area » Logan, Utah » Forage and Range Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #317617

Research Project: Develop Improved Plant Genetic Resources to Enhance Pasture and Rangeland Productivity in the Semiarid Regions of the Western U.S.

Location: Forage and Range Research

Title: Soil respiration patterns for four major land-use types of the agro-pastoral region of northern China

Author
item RONG, YUPING - China Agricultural University
item MA, LEI - China Agricultural University
item Johnson, Douglas
item YUAN, FEI - University Of Houston

Submitted to: Agriculture, Ecosystems and Environment
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 8/3/2015
Publication Date: 8/21/2015
Citation: Rong, Y., Ma, L., Johnson, D.A., Yuan, F. 2015. Soil respiration patterns for four major land-use types of the agro-pastoral region of northern China. Agriculture, Ecosystems and Environment. 213:142-150.

Interpretive Summary: Land-use types and management practices are critical factors that affect losses of carbon dioxide from the soil, which can contribute to global change. In the agro-pastoral area of northern China, land-use types have changed considerably during the last 60 years because of changes in the social-economic status of the Chinese population and associated changes in land-use. Only a few studies have examined carbon dioxide losses from soils in northern China. This study evaluated annual variation in carbon dioxide losses for the dominant land-use types in northern China. Soil carbon dioxide losses were greatest for perennial pasture followed by cropland, ungrazed grassland, and moderately grazed grassland. Soil temperature and precipitation were the main factors that controlled soil carbon dioxide losses. Conversion of grasslands to cropland or perennial pastures will likely increase soil carbon dioxide losses in northern China.

Technical Abstract: Land-use types and management practices are critical factors that affect soil CO2 efflux (Rs). In the agro-pastoral area of northern China, land-use types have changed considerably during the last 60 years due to changes in the social-economic status of the human population and associated changes in land-use needs. Only a few studies have examined Rs in this region of China, and these studies have mainly focused on grazing intensity effects on Rs rather than comparisons among land-use types. The aim of this study was to evaluate annual variation of Rs for the dominant land-use types in the agro-pastoral region of northern China, including ungrazed grassland (UG), moderately grazed grassland (MG), perennial pasture (PP), and cropland (CL). Measurements of Rs were obtained throughout the year for these four land-use types using a mobile greenhouse gas analyzer. Values of Rs from the four land-use types for the growing season, non-growing season, and across the entire year were in the order PP > CL > UG > MG. Annual values of Rs in PP and CL were 1.6- and 1.1-fold greater, respectively, than that for UG, while Rs in MG was 94% of UG. Daily mean soil temperature (Ts) was the main factor that controlled Rs and explained 52-68% of the variability in daily Rs. Monthly mean temperature and precipitation explained 67-87% of the variability in monthly cumulative Rs. Annual Rs for all land-use types averaged 1.9 kg C m-2 yr-1 (range: 1.6-2.5) with about 94% of annual Rs occurring during the growing season. No pulses of Rs were observed during the autumn and spring freeze-thaw period, probably because of the large snow accumulation, which minimized Rs during these two periods. These results showed that land-use types exhibit different Rs that were associated with differences in temperature and precipitation. Results also suggest that conversion of UG or MG to CL and PP will likely increase R2.