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Type: Journal article
Title: The extent of drying influences the flush of respiration after rewetting in non-saline and saline soils
Author: Chowdhury, N.
Yan, N.
Islam, A.
Marschner, P.
Citation: Soil Biology and Biochemistry, 2011; 43(11):2265-2272
Publisher: Pergamon-Elsevier Science Ltd
Issue Date: 2011
ISSN: 0038-0717
Statement of
Nasrin Chowdhury, Nan Yan, Nazrul Islam and Petra Marschner
Abstract: Drying and rewetting are common events in soils during summer, particularly in Mediterranean climate where soil microbes may be further challenged by salinity. Previous studies in non-saline soils have shown that rewetting induces a flush of soil respiration, but little is known about how the extent of drying affects the size of the respiration flush or how drying and rewetting affects soil respiration in saline soils. Five sandy loam soils, ranging in electrical conductivity of the saturated soil extract (ECe) from 2 to 48 dS m⠻¹ (EC2, EC9, EC19, EC33 and EC48), were kept at soil water content optimal for respiration or dried for 1, 2, 3, 4 or 5 days (referred to 1D, 2D, 3D, 4D and 5D) and maintained at the achieved water content for 4 days. Then the soils were rewet to optimal water content and incubated moist for 5 days. Water potential decreased with increasing drying time; in the 5D treatment, the water potential ranged between â 15 and â 30 MPa, with the lowest potentials in soil EC33. In moist and dry conditions, respiration rates per unit soil organic C (SOC) were highest in soil EC19. Respiration rates decreased with increasing time of drying; when expressed relative to constantly moist soil, the decline was similar in all soils. Rewetting of soils only induced a flush of respiration compared to constantly moist soil when the soils were dried for 3 or more days. The flush in respiration was greatest in 5D and smallest in 3D, and greater in EC2 than in the saline soils. Cumulative respiration per unit SOC was highest in soil EC19 and lowest in soil EC2 Cumulative respiration decreased with increasing time of drying, but in a given soil, the relationship between water potential during the dry phase and cumulative respiration at the end of the experiment was weaker than that between respiration rate during drying and water potential. In conclusion, rewetting induced a flush in respiration only if the water potential of the soils was previously decreased at least 3-fold compared to the constantly moist soil. Hence, only marked increases in water potential induce a flush in respiration upon rewetting. The smaller flush in respiration upon rewetting of saline soils suggests that these soils may be less prone to lose C when exposed to drying and rewetting compared to non-saline soils.
Keywords: Drying and rewetting
Microbial biomass
Water potential
Rights: Copyright 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
DOI: 10.1016/j.soilbio.2011.07.013
Grant ID: ARC
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