LANZHOU, Jan. 17 (Xinhua) -- Chinese researchers have made headway in the standardized and accurate measurement of soil respiration, according to Lanzhou University.
A new study is helping researchers gain a better understanding of the terrestrial carbon cycle in the ecosystem, said He Jinsheng, leader of the study and a professor at Lanzhou University.
Soil respiration accounts for the second-largest carbon flux between the atmosphere and terrestrial ecosystems. The study proposes new measurement protocols to improve the accuracy of estimating the carbon flux between the atmosphere and terrestrial ecosystems, and helps evaluate soil health, he added.
The study team conducted a field experiment from 2017 to 2019 on alpine grassland in the Haibei Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture in northwest China's Qinghai Province.
The researchers evaluated short-term and long-term soil collar deployment to assess the methodological effect on soil respiration in the grassland.
Soil collars are short sections of PVC tubing with one beveled end to cut into the soil, creating an airtight seal between the soil and the sampling chamber, according to He.
The researchers found that higher soil bulk density combined with lower root and microbial biomass inside long-term installed collars could explain a decrease in soil respiration and temperature sensitivity.
The results of the study have been published online in the journal Methods in Ecology and Evolution. ■