Temperature sensitivity of soil respiration

Full Title: Improving predictive understanding of temperature sensitivity of soil respiration and its components in Australian temperate forests

We aim to improve mechanistic understanding of the processes driving soil respiration via its microbial and root components, and to integrate insights from experiments and observations into numerical models for predicting climate – C feedbacks.

Field campaigns and laboratory experiments will allow us to characterise temperature sensitivities of poorly constrained respiration components including soil microbes and fine roots. Our observations, conducted over hourly to annual time scales, will be used to explicitly test the roles of substrate limitation of heterotrophic (microbial) respiration, and acclimation of autotrophic (root) respiration.

(photo credit: Namjin)

The combination of observational and experimental studies will provide new insights into the mechanisms that regulate soil respiration in temperate forests in Australia. These processes will be integrated into a new version of the Community Atmosphere Biosphere Land Exchange (CABLE) land-surface model and applied to the Australian temperate forest biome to assess the implications of the improved parameterisations for carbon balance into the future under a range of projected climate scenarios.

Funding source: Australian Research Council