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Soil Science Society of America Journal Abstract -

Kinetics of Carbon Dioxide Evolution in Relation to Microbial Biomass and Temperature


This article in SSSAJ

  1. Vol. 54 No. 5, p. 1324-1328
    Received: Aug 4, 1989

    * Corresponding author(s):
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  1. Catherine Blet-Charaudeau,
  2. J. Muller and
  3. H. Laudelout 
  1. Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique, Station de Châlons-sur-Marne, Route de Montmirail, Fagnières, France
    Forestry Dep., Univ. of Louvain-la-Neuve, Route de la Fagne, B6460 Chimay, Belgium



Intensification of agricultural practices on calcareous soils leads to drastic changes in biogeochemical processes due to modifications of CO2 partial pressure in soil pores. For this reason, CO2 evolution was measured in vitro from Typic Rendoll soils of the Champagne Crayeuse at four temperatures. Microbial biomass was also estimated by a plate-count technique that had been calibrated by two independent methods: chloroform fumigation and bioluminescence. Carbon dioxide evolution curves fit an equation consisting of a zero- and first-order reaction. The three parameters of this equation were interpreted as: (i) the amount of easily decomposable organic matter generated by the disturbance, (ii) the time constant for the disappearance of that disturbance, and (iii) the sustained respiration of the native microflora. This model implies that the rate of CO2 evolution is maximum at the start of the incubation, while the observed maximum in bacterial biomass occurred about 5 d later. Comparison of the results presented here with data from the literature shows that there is an almost continuous spectrum of values for the amounts of easily decomposable organic matter generated by any disturbance, and that the time constant for its mineralization is of the order of a very few days. Therefore, the use of the double exponential model is superfluous unless the duration of the incubation experiments exceeds 100 d.

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