Episodic rewetting enhances carbon and nitrogen release from chaparral soils

Amy E. Miller, Joshua P. Schimel, Thomas Meixner, James O. Sickman, John M. Melack

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

228 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The short-term pulse of carbon (C) and nitrogen (N) mineralization that accompanies the wetting of dry soils may dominate annual C and N production in many arid and semi-arid environments characterized by seasonal transitions. We used a laboratory incubation to evaluate the impact of short-term fluctuations in soil moisture on long-term carbon and nitrogen dynamics, and the degree to which rewetting enhances C and N release. Following repeated drying and rewetting of chaparral soils, cumulative CO2 release in rewet soils was 2.2-3.7 times greater than from soils maintained at equivalent mean soil moisture and represented 12-18% of the total soil C pool. Rewetting frequency did not affect cumulative CO2 release but did enhance N turnover, and net N mineralization and nitrification increased with rewetting in spite of significant reductions in nitrification potential. Litter addition decreased inorganic N release but enhanced dissolved organic nitrogen (DON) and dissolved organic carbon (DOC) from dry soils, indicating the potential importance of a litter-derived pulse to short-term nutrient dynamics.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2195-2204
Number of pages10
JournalSoil Biology and Biochemistry
Volume37
Issue number12
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 2005

Fingerprint

chaparral soils
chaparral
rewetting
Nitrogen
Soil
Carbon
Soils
carbon
nitrogen
soil
Nitrification
nitrification
Soil moisture
mineralization
soil water
litter
soil moisture
dissolved organic nitrogen
dry environmental conditions
dissolved organic carbon

Keywords

  • DOC
  • DON
  • Litter addition
  • Nitrate
  • Nitrification
  • Soil respiration

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Soil Science
  • Biochemistry
  • Ecology

Cite this

Episodic rewetting enhances carbon and nitrogen release from chaparral soils. / Miller, Amy E.; Schimel, Joshua P.; Meixner, Thomas; Sickman, James O.; Melack, John M.

In: Soil Biology and Biochemistry, Vol. 37, No. 12, 12.2005, p. 2195-2204.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Miller, Amy E. ; Schimel, Joshua P. ; Meixner, Thomas ; Sickman, James O. ; Melack, John M. / Episodic rewetting enhances carbon and nitrogen release from chaparral soils. In: Soil Biology and Biochemistry. 2005 ; Vol. 37, No. 12. pp. 2195-2204.
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