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Technical note: Differences in the diurnal pattern of soil respiration under adjacent Miscanthus ×giganteus and barley crops reveal potential flaws in accepted sampling strategies

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DateAccepted/In press - 23 Jan 2017
DatePublished (current) - 13 Mar 2017
Number of pages7
Pages (from-to)1181-1187
Original languageEnglish


For convenience, measurements used to compare soil respiration (Rs) from different land uses, crops or management practices are often made between 09:00 and 16:00 UTC, convenience which is justified by an implicit assumption
that Rs is largely controlled by temperature. Three months of continuous data presented here show distinctly different diurnal patterns of Rs between barley (Hordeum vulgare) and Miscanthus ×giganteus (Miscanthus) grown on adjacent fields. Maximum Rs in barley occurred during the afternoon and correlated with soil temperature, whereas in Miscanthus after an initial early evening decline, Rs
increased above the daily average during the night and in July maximum daily rates of Rs were seen at 22:00 and was significantly correlated with earlier levels of solar radiation, probably due to delays in translocation of recent photosynthate. Since the time of the daily mean Rs in Miscanthus occurred
when Rs in the barley was 40 % greater than the daily mean, it is vital to select appropriate times to measure Rs especially if only single daily measurements are to be made.

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© Author(s) 2017.

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