We measured total soil CO2
) and efflux from the forest floor layers (RFF
) in red pine (Pinus resinosa
Ait.) stands of different ages to examine relationships between stand age and belowground C cycling. Soil temperature and RS
were often lower in a 31-year-old stand (Y31) than in 9-year-old (Y9), 61-year-old (Y61), or 123-year-old (Y123) stands. This pattern was most apparent during warm summer months, but there were no consistent differences in RFF
among different-aged stands. RFF
represented an average of 4–13% of total soil respiration, and forest floor removal increased moisture content in the mineral soil. We found no evidence of an age effect on the temperature sensitivity of RS
, but respiration rates in Y61 and Y123 were less sensitive to low soil moisture than RS
in Y9 and Y31. Our results suggest that soil respiration's sensitivity to soil moisture may change more over the course of stand development than its sensitivity to soil temperature in red pine, and that management activities that alter landscape-scale age distributions in red pine forests could have significant impacts on rates of soil CO2
efflux from this forest type.
Powers, Matthew; Kolka, Randall; Bradford, John; Palik, Brian; Jurgensen, Martin. 2017. Forest floor and mineral soil respiration rates in a northern Minnesota red pine chronosequence. Forests. 9(1): 16. 15 p. https://doi.org/10.3390/f9010016.