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High-resolution global soil respiration dataset generated for carbon emission study

23-10-2020Source:Xinhuanet

BEIJING, Oct. 22 (Xinhua) -- Researchers have developed a dataset for annual global soil respiration at a spatial resolution of 1 square km for the period between 2000 and 2014.

More than two-thirds of terrestrial carbon is stored belowground, and a significant amount of the atmospheric carbon dioxide assimilated by plants is respired by roots and microbes in soil, according to the research article published in the journal Science Advances.

Soil respiration, consisting of root respiration and microbial respiration, is therefore a key process in the terrestrial carbon cycle. However, it is difficult to estimate on a global scale due to the limited understanding of complex interactions between physical, chemical and biological processes and the resulting high spatiotemporal dynamics.

The researchers from the Chinese Academy of Sciences, Texas Tech University, the University of British Columbia and Boston University aimed to reduce uncertainties between the global carbon budget and the terrestrial carbon cycle.

They developed a dataset for annual global soil respiration at a spatial resolution of 1 square km for the period between 2000 and 2014 using remote sensing data and biome-specific statistical models.

Based on the dataset, the researchers analyzed the relation between spatial and temporal soil carbon emission changes and climate and land cover changes in global terrestrial ecosystems.

The results showed land cover changes played a more important role than climate changes in regulating soil respiration shifts in temperate and boreal regions from 2000 to 2014.

Significant changes in soil respiration occurred more frequently in areas with notable short vegetation cover shifts than in areas with significant climate changes in temperate and boreal regions, according to the research article.

Editor: Liu Shuqiao