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Data from: Using greenhouse gas fluxes to define soil functional types


Petrakis, Sandra; Barba, Josep; Bond-Lamberty, Benjamin; Vargas, Rodrigo (2018), Data from: Using greenhouse gas fluxes to define soil functional types, Dryad, Dataset,


Aim: Soils provide key ecosystem services and directly control ecosystem functions; thus, there is a need to define the reference state of soil functionality. Most common functional classifications are vegetation-centered, such as plant functional types (PFTs), and neglect soil characteristics and processes. We propose Soil Functional Types (SFTs) as a conceptual approach to represent and describe the functionality of soils based on characteristics of their greenhouse gas (GHG) flux dynamics. Methods: We used automated measurements of CO2, CH4 and N2O soil fluxes in a forested area to define SFTs as surface areas with similar GHG dynamics. We performed mixed effects models, and independent cluster analyses of our environmental variables and SFT classifications. Results Unique groupings based on SFTs, but not environmental variables, supported the hypothesis that SFTs provide additional insights on the spatial variability of soil functionality beyond information represented by commonly measured soil parameters (e.g., soil moisture, soil temperature, litter biomass). Conclusions: This approach could complement vegetation-based functional classifications to better represent the broad range of ecosystem functions. A global application of the proposed SFT framework will only be possible if there is a community-wide effort to share data and create a global database of GHG emissions from soils.

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Mid Atlantic