Litter contribution to diurnal and annual soil respiration in a tropical montane cloud forest

Michael Zimmermann*, Patrick Meir, Michael Bird, Yadvinder Malhi, Adan Ccahuana

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

80 Citations (Scopus)


Respiration Of CO(2) from soils (Rs) is a major component of the carbon cycle of ecosystems, but understanding is still poor of both the relative contributions of different respiratory sources to Rs, and the environmental factors that drive diurnal variations in Rs. We measured total and litter-free Rs at half-hourly intervals over full 24 h periods, and thereafter twice a month for 10 months in a tropical montane cloud forest (TMCF) in Peru. Total Rs declined by about 61% during the night as a result of variations in respiration rate in the litter, which were partly correlated with the soil surface air temperature. Most of the diurnal variation of R, in this TMCF appears to be driven by respiration in the litter layer, which contributed 37% to the total Soil CO(2) efflux. Total Rs rates at this particular site would have been overestimated by 60% if derived from daytime measurements that had not been corrected for diurnal variations in R(s) Crown Copyright (C) 2009 Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1338-1340
Number of pages3
JournalSoil Biology & Biochemistry
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2009


  • Diurnal soil respiration variation
  • Tropical montane cloud forest
  • Litter respiration


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