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Forskningsartikel2008Vetenskapligt granskad

Winter soil frost conditions in boreal forests control growing season soil CO2 concentration and its atmospheric exchange

Oquist, M. G.; Laudon, H.


The impact of changes in winter soil frost regime on soil CO2 concentration and its atmospheric exchange in a boreal Norway spruce forest was investigated using a field-scale soil frost manipulation experiment. The experiment comprised three treatments: deep soil frost, shallow soil frost and control plots (n = 3). Winter soil temperatures and soil frost distribution were significantly altered by the different treatments. The average soil CO2 concentrations during the growing season were significantly lower in plots with deep soil frost than in plots with shallow soil frost. The average CO2 soil-atmosphere exchange rate exhibited the same pattern, and differences in soil respiration rates among the treatments were statistically significant. Both the variation in soil CO2 concentration and the CO2 soil-atmosphere exchange rate could statistically be explained by the differences in the maximum soil frost depth during the previous winter. A response model for growing season soil respiration rates suggests that every 1 cm change in winter soil frost depth will change the emission rates by ca. 0.01 g CO2 m(-2) day(-1), corresponding to 0.2-0.5% of the estimated net ecosystem productivity (NEP). This suggests that the soil frost regime has a significant influence on the C balance of the system, because interannual variations in soil frost up to 60 cm have been recorded at the site. We conclude that winter climate conditions can be important in controlling C balances in northern terrestrial ecosystems, and also that indirect effects of the winter season must be taken into account, because these can affect the prevailing conditions during the growing season.


boreal forest soil; carbon dioxide; frozen soils; soil frost; soil respiration

Publicerad i

Global Change Biology
2008, Volym: 14, nummer: 12, sidor: 2839-2847

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      Miljö- och naturvårdsvetenskap

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