J Integr Plant Biol. ›› 2005, Vol. 47 ›› Issue (11): 1288-1302.DOI: 10.1111/j.1744-7909.2005.00211.x

• Research Articles • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Does a General Temperature-Dependent Q10 Model of Soil Respiration Exist at Biome and Global Scale?

Hua CHEN and Han-Qin TIAN   

Abstract: Soil respiration (SR) is commonly modeled by a Q10 (an indicator of temperature sensitivity) function in ecosystem models. Q10 is usually treated as a constant of 2 in these models, although Q10 value of SR often decreases with increasing temperatures. It remains unclear whether a general temperature-dependent Q10 model of SR exists at biome and global scale. In this paper, we have compiled the long-term Q10 data of 38 SR studies ranging from the Boreal, Temperate, to Tropical/Subtropical biome on four continents. Our analysis indicated that the general temperature-dependent biome Q10 models of SR existed, especially in the Boreal and Temperate biomes. A single-exponential model was better than a simple linear model in fitting the average Q10 values at the biome scale. Average soil temperature is a better predictor of Q10 value than average air temperature in these models, especially in the Boreal biome. Soil temperature alone could explain about 50% of the Q10 variations in both the Boreal and Temperate biome single-exponential Q10 model. Q10 value of SR decreased with increasing soil temperature but at quite different rates among the three biome Q10 models. The k values (Q10 decay rate constants) were 0.09, 0.07, and 0.02/℃ in the Boreal, Temperate, and Tropical/Subtropical biome, respectively, suggesting that Q10 value is the most sensitive to soil temperature change in the Boreal biome, the second in the Temperate biome, and the least sensitive in the Tropical/Subtropical biome. This also indirectly confirms that acclimation of SR in many soil warming experiments probably occurs. The k value in the “global” single-exponential Q10 model which combined both the Boreal and Temperate biome data set was 0.08/℃. However, the global general temperature-dependent Q10 model developed using the data sets of the three biomes is not adequate for predicting Q10 values of SR globally. The existence of the general temperature-dependent Q10 models of SR in the Boreal and Temperate biome has important implications for modeling SR, especially in the Boreal biome. More detail model runs are needed to exactly evaluate the impact of using a fixed Q10 vs a temperature-dependent Q10 on SR estimate in ecosystem models (e.g., TEM, Biome-BGC, and PnET).

Key words: air temperature, biome Q10 model, global Q10 model, simple linear model, single-exponential model, soil respiration (SR), soil temperature, temperature sensitivity (Q10).

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