Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item:
Appears in Collections:Biological and Environmental Sciences Journal Articles
Peer Review Status: Refereed
Title: Soil microbial respiration in arctic soil does not acclimate to temperature
Authors: Hartley, Iain
Hopkins, David
Garnett, Mark H
Sommerkorn, Martin
Wookey, Philip
Contact Email:
Keywords: Acclimation
Carbon cycling
Climate change
Microbial community
Issue Date: Oct-2008
Publisher: Blackwell Publishing
Citation: Hartley I, Hopkins D, Garnett MH, Sommerkorn M & Wookey P (2008) Soil microbial respiration in arctic soil does not acclimate to temperature, Ecology Letters, 11 (10), pp. 1092-1100.
Abstract: Warming-induced release of CO2 from the large carbon (C) stores in arctic soils could accelerate climate change. However, declines in the response of soil respiration to warming in long-term experiments suggest that microbial activity acclimates to temperature, greatly reducing the potential for enhanced C losses. As reduced respiration rates with time could be equally caused by substrate depletion, evidence for thermal acclimation remains controversial. To overcome this problem, we carried out a cooling experiment with soils from arctic Sweden. If acclimation causes the reduction in soil respiration observed after experimental warming, then it should subsequently lead to an increase in respiration rates after cooling. We demonstrate that thermal acclimation did not occur following cooling. Rather, during the 90 days after cooling, a further reduction in the soil respiration rate was observed, which was only reversed by extended re-exposure to warmer temperatures. We conclude that over the time scale of a few weeks to months, warming-induced changes in the microbial community in arctic soils will amplify the instantaneous increase in the rates of CO2 production and thus enhance C losses potentially accelerating the rate of 21st century climate change.
Type: Journal Article
DOI Link:
Rights: Published in Ecology Letters. Copyright: Blackwell Publishing. The definitive version is available at
Affiliation: Biological and Environmental Sciences
Biological and Environmental Sciences
NERC Radiocarbon Facility (Environment)
Macaulay Land Use Research Institute
Biological and Environmental Sciences

Files in This Item:
File Description SizeFormat 
Hartley2008revised.doc191 kBMicrosoft WordView/Open
Hartley2008revised.pdf169.03 kBAdobe PDFView/Open

This item is protected by original copyright

Items in the Repository are protected by copyright, with all rights reserved, unless otherwise indicated.

If you believe that any material held in STORRE infringes copyright, please contact providing details and we will remove the Work from public display in STORRE and investigate your claim.