Journal of Geographical Sciences ›› 2011, Vol. 21 ›› Issue (1): 163-175.doi: 10.1007/s11442-011-0836-7

• Ecology and Environment • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Influencing factors and partitioning of respiration in a Leymus chinensis steppe in Xilin River Basin, Inner Mongolia, China

GENG Yuanbo1, LUO Guangqiang1,2   

  1. 1. Institute of Geographic Sciences and Natural Resources Research, CAS, Beijing 100101, China|
    2. Graduate University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049, China
  • Received:2010-06-25 Revised:2010-07-29 Online:2011-02-15 Published:2011-01-13
  • Supported by:

    National Natural Science Foundation of China, No.41071138; National Key Technologies R&D Program during the 11th Five-year Plan of China, No.2006BAJ10B04; Independent Innovation Project of Institute of Geographic Sciences and Natural Resources Research, CAS, No.200905009


Based on the static opaque chamber method, the respiration rates of soil microbial respiration, soil respiration, and ecosystem respiration were measured through continuous in-situ experiments during rapid growth season in semiarid Leymus chinensis steppe in the Xilin River Basin of Inner Mongolia, China. Soil temperature and moisture were the main factor affecting respiration rates. Soil temperature can explain most CO2 efflux variations (R2=0.376–0.655) excluding data of low soil water conditions. Soil moisture can also effectively explain most of the variations of soil and ecosystem respiration (R2=0.314–0.583), but it can not explain much of the variation of microbial respiration (R2=0.063). Low soil water content (≤5%) inhibited CO2 efflux though the soil temperature was high. Rewetting the soil after a long drought resulted in substantial increases in CO2 flux at high temperature. Bivariable models based on soil temperature at 5 cm depth and soil moisture at 0–10 cm depth can explain about 70% of the variations of CO2 effluxes. The contribution of soil respiration to ecosystem respiration averaged 59.4%, ranging from 47.3% to 72.4%; the contribution of root respiration to soil respiration averaged 20.5%, ranging from 11.7% to 51.7%. The contribution of soil to ecosystem respiration was a little overestimated and root to soil respiration little underestimated because of the increased soil water content that occurred as a result of plant removal.

Key words: Leymus chinensis steppe, ecosystem respiration, soil respiration, microbial respiration, temperature, moisture