The effect of climate change on soil organic matter decomposition

Article English OPEN
Tóth, János Attila ; Lajtha, Kate ; Kotroczó, Zsolt ; Krakomperger, Zsolt ; Caldwell, Bruce ; Bowden, Richard ; Papp, Mária (2007)
  • Publisher: Sciendo
  • Journal: (issn: 1786-691X, eissn: 1787-064X)
  • Subject: SOM | SD1-669.5 | Természettudományok | litter production | DIRT | soil respiration | soil enzymes activity | Környezettudományok | Forestry | oak forest

In the last few decades the climate of Síkfkút ILTER Forest (Hungary) became warmerand dryer. Due to the climate change the species composition of forest has been changing, and thetotal leaf litter production has been slightly decreasing. According to our long-term litter manipulationfield experiment, which is part of ILTER Detritus Input and Removal Treatments (DIRT) Project, aftera 4-5 year treating period, at the No Litter, No Root and No Input treatments the soil organic C and Ncontent, the soil bacterial and fungal count, the soil pH, the soil enzyme activity, and soil respirationdecreased. Increased soil temperature raises soil respiration exponentially, and thus if the average soiltemperature increased by 2 oC at the dry Síkfkút site, soil respiration would increase by 22.1%. Thisincrease would be higher (29.9%) at a wet site, such as Harvard Forest in the USA. Increasing soilrespiration can speed up global warming through a positive feedback mechanism.
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