The Combined Effects of Warming and Drying Suppress Co2 and N2o Emission Rates in an Alpine Meadow of the Eastern Tibetan Plateau (2012)

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The eastern Tibetan Plateau has become increasingly warmer and drier since the 1990s. Such warming and drying has a great impact on ecosystem processes on the eastern Tibetan Plateau. To determine their combined effects on CO2 and N2O emission rates, we conducted a field manipulative experiment in an alpine meadow of the eastern Tibetan Plateau during the growing season of 2009. The experiment showed that warming manipulation increased soil temperature by 1 °C, and drying manipulation decreased soil water content by 6.8 %. We found that by counteracting the effect of low temperature in the area, experimental warming significantly increased soil microbial biomass, the number of bacteria, fungi, actinomycetes, ammonifying bacteria, nitrobacteria and denitrifying bacteria, and facilitated the emission rates of CO2 and N2O by 33.4 and 31.5 %, respectively. However, decreased precipitation further aggravated soil water stress and inhibited the numbers of these organisms, and reduced the emission rates of CO2 and N2O by 47.4 and 37.9 %, respectively. So decreased soil water content tended to offset the positive effect of warming. Compared to the positive effects of warming, decreased soil water content was shown in our study to have even greater impact on the eastern Tibetan Plateau during the growing season. Therefore, inhibition of CO2 and N2O emission rates (32.3 and 29.3 %, respectively) by warming and drying will intensify if the combined effects of these climatic trends persist in the region.
Year: 2012
Language: English
In: Ecological Research, 27 (4): 725-733 p.


 Record created 2013-04-10, last modified 2013-04-10