JOMURA Mayuko, KOMINAMI Yuji, ATAKA Mioko
Differences between coarse woody debris and leaf litter in the response of heterotrophic respiration to rainfall events
Journal of Forest Research
Automated chamber system, Decomposition, Forest carbon budget, Temperature, Water content
Heterotrophic respiration strongly influences carbon cycles at the ecosystem and global scales. We used an automated chamber system to measure the heterotrophic respiration of coarse woody debris (CWD) and leaf litter in a secondary broadleaved forest in southern Kyoto Prefecture. This system, which targeted only organic matter, could detect heterotrophic respiration responses to changes in environmental factors, especially rainfall events. The temporal trends and responses of respiration to environmental factors differed dramatically between CWD and leaf litter. CWD respiration showed a clear diurnal change corresponding to changes in CWD temperature and a clear decrease during rainfall events. Leaf litter respiration did not change clearly but increased at the beginning of rain events and returned to pre-rain rates when soil water content declined. The temporal patterns of the residuals between the observed respiration and baseline respiration, developed from the temperature response curves under pre-rain conditions, differed between CWD and leaf litter respiration. The typical trend in CWD respiration response to rainfall events was a clear decrease and then gradual increase in the residuals after the event. The response of leaf litter respiration to wetting was an increase in the residuals during rainfall events and then a gradual decrease during drying. The difference in the responses of these respirations to wetting and drying processes are likely caused by differences in the physical characteristics of the CWD and the leaf litter layer. Measurements targeting only organic matter using an automated chamber system could detect the responses of heterotrophic respiration to environmental factors.