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Data from: Disentangling effects of air and soil temperature on C allocation in cold environments: a 14C pulse labelling study with two plant species

Citation

Ferrari, Adele; Hagedorn, Frank; Niklaus, Pascal A. (2019), Data from: Disentangling effects of air and soil temperature on C allocation in cold environments: a 14C pulse labelling study with two plant species, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.mk1vd47

Abstract

Carbon cycling responses of ecosystems to global warming will likely be stronger in cold ecosystems where many processes are temperature-limited. Predicting these effects is difficult because air and soil temperatures will not change in concert, and will affect above and belowground processes differently. We disentangled above and belowground temperature effects on plant C allocation and deposition of plant C in soils by independently manipulated air and soil temperatures in microcosms planted with either Leucanthemopsis alpina or Pinus mugo seedlings. Daily averages temperatures of 4 or 9 °C were applied to shoots and independently to roots, and plants pulse-labelled with 14CO2. We traced soil CO2 and 14CO2 evolution for four days, after which microcosms were destructively harvested and 14C quantified in plant and soil fractions. In microcosms with L. alpina, net 14C uptake was higher at 9°C than at 4°C soil temperature, and this difference was independent of air temperature. In warmer soils, more C was allocated to roots at greater soil depth, with no effect of air temperature. In P. mugo microcosms, assimilate partitioning to roots increased with air temperature, but only when soils were at 9 °C. Higher soil temperatures also increased the mean soil depth at which 14C was allocated. Our findings highlight the dependence of C uptake, use, and partitioning on both air and soil temperature, with the latter being relatively more important. The strong temperature-sensitivity of C assimilate use in the roots and rhizosphere supports the hypothesis that cold limitation on C uptake is primarily mediated by reduced sink strength in the roots. We conclude that variations in soil rather than air temperature are going to drive plant responses to warming in cold environments, with potentially large changes in C cycling due to enhanced transfer of plant-derived C to soils.

Usage Notes

Location

Zürich
Graubünden
Switzerland