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Rapid turnover of DOC in temperate forests accounts for increased CO2 production at elevated temperatures

  • Per Bengtson
  • Göran Bengtsson
Publishing year: 2007
Language: English
Pages: 783-790
Publication/Series: Ecology Letters
Volume: 10
Issue: 9
Document type: Journal article (letter)
Publisher: Wiley-Blackwell

Abstract english

The evidence for the contribution of soil warming to changes in atmospheric CO2 concentrations and carbon stocks of temperate forest ecosystems is equivocal. Here, we use data from a beech/oak forest on concentrations and stable isotope ratios of dissolved organic carbon (DOC), phosphate buffer-extractable organic carbon, soil organic carbon (SOC), respiration and microbial gross assimilation of N to show that respired soil carbon originated from DOC. However, the respiration was not dependent on the DOC concentration but exceeded the daily DOC pool three to four times, suggesting that DOC was turned over several times per day. A mass flow model helped to calculate that a maximum of 40% of the daily DOC production was derived from SOC and to demonstrate that degradation of SOC is limiting respiration of DOC. The carbon flow model on SOC, DOC, microbial C mobilization/immobilization and respiration is linked by temperature-dependent microbial and enzyme activity to global warming effects Of CO2 emitted to the atmosphere.


  • Biological Sciences
  • Ecology
  • soil organic carbon
  • respiration
  • biomass
  • microbial
  • carbon dioxide enrichment
  • dissolved organic carbon turnover
  • soil warming
  • stable isotopes


  • Microbial Ecology
  • ISSN: 1461-023X
Per Bengtson
E-mail: per [dot] bengtson [at] biol [dot] lu [dot] se



+46 46 222 37 60


Sölvegatan 37, Lund


Research group

Microbial Ecology


Doctoral students and postdocs

PhD students, main supervisor


PhD students, assistant supervisor

Jian Li

Experimental setup