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    Author(s): S. Mark Nay; Kim G. Mattson; Bernard T. Bormann
    Date: 1994
    Source: Ecology. 75(8): 2460-2463
    Publication Series: Scientific Journal (JRNL)
    PDF: Download Publication  (183 KB)


    Investigators have historically measured soil CO2 efflux as an indicator of soil microbial and root activity and more recently in calculations of carbon budgets. The most common methods estimate CO2 efflux by placing a chamber over the soil surface and quantifying the amount of CO2 entering the chamber per unit area of soil per unit time. Schlesinger (1977), Anderson (1982), Rolston (1986a), Raich and Nadelhoffer (1989), and Nakayama (1990) have reviewed various chamber methods. No single method is established as a standard (Anderson 1982, Nakayama 1990, Norman et al. 1992), partly because methods are not compared to known effluxes (Nakayama 1990). Past comparisons have only shown a method to be higher or lower than another method.

    This study compared the responses of two commonly used chamber methods to known effluxes from the surface of a simulated soil. Our known effluxes are based on calculations using Fick's law of diffusion. The two methods we tested were a static-chamber method with soda lime as a CO2 absorbent and a dynamicchamber method consisting of an infrared gas analyzer in a closed air-circulation loop. Because the absorption rate of alkali materials used in static chambers is thought to be a source of bias (Freijer and Bouten 199l, Nakadai et al. 1993), we were also interested in how the soda-lime absorbent affected the headspace CO2 concentration of the static chambers.

    Publication Notes

    • Visit PNW's Publication Request Page to request a hard copy of this publication.
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    • This article was written and prepared by U.S. Government employees on official time, and is therefore in the public domain.


    Nay, S. Mark; Mattson, Kim G.; Bormann, Bernard T. 1994. Biases of chamber methods for measuring soil CO2 efflux demonstrated with a laboratory apparatus. Ecology. 75(8): 2460-2463

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