Estimating respiration of roots in soil: Interactions with soil CO2, soil temperature and soil water content

Tjeerd J. Bouma, Kai L. Nielsen, David M. Eissenstat, Jonathan P. Lynch

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    Little information is available on the variability of the dynamics of the actual and observed root respiration rate in relation to abiotic factors. In this study, we describe I) interactions between soil CO2 concentration, temperature, soil water content and root respiration, and II) the effect of short-term fluctuations of these three environmental factors on the relation between actual and observed root respiration rates. We designed an automated, open, gas-exchange system that allows continuous measurements on 12 chambers with intact roots in soil. By using three distinct chamber designs with each a different path for the air flow, we were able to measure root respiration over a 50-fold range of soil CO2 concentrations (400 to 25000 ppm) and to separate the effect of irrigation on observed vs. actual root respiration rate. All respiration measurements were made on one-year-old citrus seedlings in sterilized sandy soil with minimal organic material.
    Original languageDanish
    JournalPlant and Soil
    Pages (from-to)221-232
    Number of pages12
    Publication statusPublished - 1997

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