The use of natural 13C to identify and quantify sources of emitted CO2 in a calcareous Southern Ontario luvisolic soil

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Wilton, Meaghan
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University of Guelph

Three studies were conducted at the Elora Research Station (ERS) on a Luvisolic soil to investigate the soil inorganic carbon (SIC) and soil organic carbon (SOC) components contributing to the CO2 flux (FC) using natural 13C abundance. SIC contributed to the FC in intact soil incubations. Soil disruption exacerbated the release of CO2 from both pedogenic and lithogenic carbonates. Field and laboratory techniques to obtain the ?13C of respired CO2 (?13CR) were compared. Short-term deployment of non flow-through non steady-state chambers and the use of the simple two-ended mass balance approach to derive ? 13CR were found acceptable to apply to the ERS site. The ?13CR from a corn field at ERS with a history of multiple C4 and C3 crop rotations was partitioned into SIC and SOC components using two approaches. Root respiration contributed 2% - 64% and carbonates contribute up to 20% to the FC.

Luvisolic soil, soil inorganic carbon, soil organic carbon, CO2 flux, natural 13C