Quantification of the components of ecosystem respiration is essential to understanding carbon (C) cycling of natural and disturbed landscapes. Soil respiration, which includes autotrophic and heterotrophic respiration from throughout the soil profile, is the second largest flux in the global carbon cycle. We measured soil respiration (soil CO2 emission) at an undisturbed mature jack pine (Pinus banksiana Lamb.) stand in Saskatchewan (old jack pine, OJP), and at a formerly continuous portion of the stand that was clear-cut during the previous winter (clear-cut, CC). Tree harvesting reduced soil CO2 emission from ???22.5 to ???9.1 mol CO2??m2 for the 1994 growing season. OJP was a small net sink of atmospheric CO2, while CC was a net source of CO2. Winter emissions were similar at both sites. Reduction of soil respiration was attributed to disruption of the soil surface and to the death of tree roots. Flux simulations for CC and OJP identify 40% of CO2 emission at the undisturbed OJP site as near-surface respiration, 25% as deep-soil respiration, and 35% as tree-root respiration. The near-surface component was larger than the estimated annual C input to soil, suggesting fast C turnover and no net C accumulation in these boreal uplands in 1994.
Additional publication details
Effects of a clear-cut harvest on soil respiration in a jack pine - Lichen woodland