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: Temperature sensitivity of soil respiration rates enhanced by microbial community response (Letter)
Author(s): Karhu, Kristiina
Auffret, Marc
Dungait, Jennifer
Hopkins, David
Prosser, James
Singh, Brajesh
Subke, Jens-Arne
Wookey, Philip
Agren, Goran
Sebastia, Maria-Teresa
Gouriveau, Fabrice
Bergkvist, Goran
Meir, Patrick
Nottingham, Andrew T
Salinas, Norma
Hartley, Iain
Contact Email:
Keywords: Thermal acclimation
Organic matter
Climate change
Issue Date: Sep-2014
Citation: Karhu K, Auffret M, Dungait J, Hopkins D, Prosser J, Singh B, Subke J, Wookey P, Agren G, Sebastia M, Gouriveau F, Bergkvist G, Meir P, Nottingham AT, Salinas N & Hartley I (2014) Temperature sensitivity of soil respiration rates enhanced by microbial community response (Letter), Nature, 513 (7516), pp. 81-84.
Abstract: Soils store about four times as much carbon as plant biomass(1), and soil microbial respiration releases about 60 petagrams of carbon per year to the atmosphere as carbon dioxide(2). Short-term experiments have shown that soil microbial respiration increases exponentially with temperature(3). This information has been incorporated into soil carbon and Earth-system models, which suggest that warming-induced increases in carbon dioxide release from soils represent an important positive feedback loop that could influence twenty-first-century climate change(4). The magnitude of this feedback remains uncertain, however, not least because the response of soil microbial communities to changing temperatures has the potential to either decrease(5-7) or increase(8,9) warming-induced carbon losses substantially. Here we collect soils from different ecosystems along a climate gradient from the Arctic to the Amazon and investigate how microbial community-level responses control the temperature sensitivity of soil respiration. We find that the microbial community-level response more often enhances than reduces the mid-to long-term (90 days) temperature sensitivity of respiration. Furthermore, the strongest enhancing responses were observed in soils with high carbon-to-nitrogen ratios and in soils from cold climatic regions. After 90 days, microbial community responses increased the temperature sensitivity of respiration in high-latitude soils by a factor of 1.4 compared to the instantaneous temperature response. This suggests that the substantial carbon stores in Arctic and boreal soils could be more vulnerable to climate warming than currently predicted.
DOI Link:
Rights: The publisher does not allow this work to be made publicly available in this Repository. Please use the Request a Copy feature at the foot of the Repository record to request a copy directly from the author. You can only request a copy if you wish to use this work for your own research or private study.

Files in This Item:
File Description SizeFormat 
nature13604.pdf5.45 MBAdobe PDFUnder Permanent Embargo    Request a copy

Note: If any of the files in this item are currently embargoed, you can request a copy directly from the author by clicking the padlock icon above. However, this facility is dependent on the depositor still being contactable at their original email address.

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.