reference : Toward improved model structures for analyzing priming: potential pitfalls of using bulk turnover time

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reftype Journal Article
Abstract Many studies have shown that elevated atmospheric CO2 concentrations result in increased plant carbon inputs to soil that can accelerate the decomposition of native soil organic matter, an effect known as priming. Consequently, it is important to understand and quantify the priming effect for future predictions of carbon-climate feedbacks. There are potential pitfalls, however, when representing this complex system with a simple, first-order model. Here, we show that a multi-pool soil carbon model can match the change in bulk turnover time calculated from overall respiration and carbon stocks (a one-pool approach) at elevated CO2 , without a change in decomposition rate constants of individual pools (i.e., without priming). Therefore, the priming effect cannot be quantified using a one-pool model alone, and even a two-pool model may be inadequate, depending on the effect size as well as the distribution of soil organic carbon and turnover times. In addition to standard measurements of carbon stocks and CO2 fluxes, we argue that quantifying the fate of new plant inputs requires isotopic tracers and microbial measurements. Our results offer insights into modeling and interpreting priming from observations.
Accession Number 26182905
Author Georgiou, K.; Koven, C. D.; Riley, W. J.; Torn, M. S.
Author Address Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, University of California, Berkeley, CA, 94720, USA. Earth Sciences Division, Lawrence Berkeley National Lab (LBNL), Berkeley, CA, 94720, USA. Energy and Resources Group, University of California, Berkeley, CA, 94720, USA.
DOI 10.1111/gcb.13039
Date Dec
ISSN 1365-2486 (Electronic) 1354-1013 (Linking)
Issue 12
Journal Global Change Biology
Keywords Atmosphere/*chemistry; *Carbon Cycle; Carbon Dioxide/*chemistry; Climate Change; *Models, Theoretical; Soil/*chemistry; carbon cycle dynamics; elevated CO2; microbial biomass; priming effect; soil carbon modeling; soil carbon storage
Notes Georgiou, Katerina Koven, Charles D Riley, William J Torn, Margaret S eng Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S. England 2015/07/18 06:00 Glob Chang Biol. 2015 Dec;21(12):4298-302. doi: 10.1111/gcb.13039. Epub 2015 Nov 2.
Pages 4298-302
Title Toward improved model structures for analyzing priming: potential pitfalls of using bulk turnover time
Volume 21
Year 2015
Bibliographic identifiers
_record_number 2306
_uuid 3df9cf0d-e170-48dd-9fc3-6b5448c4a4e3