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This article in SSSAJ

  1. Vol. 36 No. 5, p. 851-852
    Received: Feb 10, 1972
    Accepted: Mar 28, 1972

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Impact of Wetting on Microbial Respiration in Desert Soil1

  1. A. N. Macgregor2



When naturally air-dried soil from the surface layer of the Sonoran Desert was brought into contact with water, there was an immediate release of gases. Carbon dioxide was identified as a major gas component and was released in amounts equivalent to 50µliter/g of dry soil. It was estimated that following rainfall the air-layer above natural areas of desert may temporarily experience up to a ten-fold increase in CO2-concentration due solely to the above phenomenom.

Wetted soil immediately proceeded to take up O2 at a rate equivalent to approximately 2.5µliter/g soil/hour over a 5-hour incubation period. Soil treated only with water had a respiratory quotient of 0.63 and soil treated with 1.0M KCN a respiratory quotient of 0.54.

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