Aerobic and anaerobic respiration in profiles of Polesie Lubelskie peatlands
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Department of Biochemistry and Environmental Chemistry, John Paul II Catholic University of Lublin, Konstantynów 1I, 20-708 Lublin, Poland
Int. Agrophys. 2014, 28(2): 219–229
Soil respiration is a very important factor influencing carbon deposition in peat and reflecting the intensity of soil organic matter decomposition, root respiration, and the ease of transporting gases to the surface. Carbon dioxide release from three different peat soil profiles (0-80 cm) of the Polesie Lubelskie Region (Eastern Poland) was analyzed under laboratory conditions. Peat samples were incubated at 5, 10, and 20°C in aerobic and anaerobic environments, and their CO2-evolution was analyzed up to 14 days. The respiration activity was found to be in the range of 0.013-0.497 g CO2 kg-1 DW d-1. The respiratory quotient was estimated to be in the range of 0.51-1.51, and the difference in respiration rates over 10°C ranged between 4.15 and 8.72 in aerobic and from 1.15 to 6.53 in anaerobic conditions. A strong influence of temperature, depth, the degree of peat decomposition, pH, and nitrate content on respiration activity was found. Lack of oxygen at low temperature caused higher respiration activity than under aerobic conditions. These results should be taken into account when the management of Polish peatlands is considered in the context of climate and carbon storage, and physicochemical properties of soil in relation to soil respiration activity are considered.