Soil respiration as related to abiotic and remotely sensed variables in varying overstories and understories in a high elevation southern Appalachian forestThis article is part of a larger document. View the larger document here.
Forests capture carbon dioxide through the process of photosynthesis. However, forests also respire carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. Soil respiration (Rs) is a significant source of atmospheric carbon dioxide. A portion of Rs comes from the process of microorganisms breaking down carbon sources in the soil while another portion is from respiring roots (Gough and others 2008). Even small changes in Rs can have a significant impact on whether a forest will behave as a carbon source or a carbon sink (Schlesinger and Andrews 2000). Therefore, considerable attention has recently been focused on accurate predictions of Rs.