Nine years of in situ soil warming and topography impact the temperature sensitivity and basal respiration rate of the forest floor in a Canadian boreal forest

Autoři: Charles Marty aff001;  Joanie Piquette aff001;  Hubert Morin aff001;  Denis Bussières aff002;  Nelson Thiffault aff003;  Daniel Houle aff004;  Robert L. Bradley aff005;  Myrna J. Simpson aff006;  Rock Ouimet aff004;  Maxime C. Paré aff001
Působiště autorů: Laboratoire d’écologie végétale et animale, Département des sciences fondamentales, Université du Québec à Chicoutimi, Chicoutimi, Québec, Canada aff001;  Département des sciences fondamentales, Université du Québec à Chicoutimi, Chicoutimi, Québec, Canada aff002;  Centre Canadien sur la fibre de bois, Service canadien des forêts, Québec, Québec, Canada aff003;  Direction de la recherche forestière, Ministère des Forêts, de la Faune et des Parcs, Québec, Québec, Canada aff004;  Département de Biologie, Université de Sherbrooke, Sherbrooke, Québec, Canada aff005;  Environmental NMR Centre and Department of Physical and Environmental Sciences, University of Toronto Scarborough, Toronto, Ontario, Canada aff006
Vyšlo v časopise: PLoS ONE 14(12)
Kategorie: Research Article


The forest floor of boreal forest stores large amounts of organic C that may react to a warming climate and increased N deposition. It is therefore crucial to assess the impact of these factors on the temperature sensitivity of this C pool to help predict future soil CO2 emissions from boreal forest soils to the atmosphere. In this study, soil warming (+2–4°C) and canopy N addition (CNA; +0.30–0.35 kg·N·ha-1·yr-1) were replicated along a topographic gradient (upper, back and lower slope) in a boreal forest in Quebec, Canada. After nine years of treatment, the forest floor was collected in each plot, and its organic C composition was characterized through solid-state 13C nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy. Forest floor samples were incubated at four temperatures (16, 24, 32 and 40°C) and respiration rates (RR) measured to assess the temperature sensitivity of forest floor RR (Q10 = e10k) and basal RR (B). Both soil warming and CNA had no significant effect on forest floor chemistry (e.g., C, N, Ca and Mg content, amount of soil organic matter, pH, chemical functional groups). The NMR analyses did not show evidence of significant changes in the forest floor organic C quality. Nonetheless, a significant effect of soil warming on both the Q10 of RR and B was observed. On average, B was 72% lower and Q10 45% higher in the warmed, versus the control plots. This result implies that forest floor respiration will more strongly react to changes in soil temperature in a future warmer climate. CNA had no significant effect on the measured soil and respiration parameters, and no interaction effects with warming. In contrast, slope position had a significant effect on forest floor organic C quality. Upper slope plots had higher soil alkyl C:O-alkyl C ratios and lower B values than those in the lower slope, across all different treatments. This result likely resulted from a relative decrease in the labile C fraction in the upper slope, characterized by lower moisture levels. Our results point towards higher temperature sensitivity of RR under warmer conditions, accompanied by an overall down-regulation of RR at low temperatures (lower B). Since soil C quantity and quality were unaffected by the nine years of warming, the observed patterns could result from microbial adaptations to warming.

Klíčová slova:

Carbon dioxide – Fertilizers – Forest ecology – Forests – Chemical deposition – Landforms – Q10 temperature coefficient – Soil chemistry


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