Ecosystem respiration in a young ponderosa pine plantation in the Sierra Nevada Mountains, California

M. Xu, T. A. DeBiase, Y. Qi, A. Goldstein, Z. Liu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

99 Scopus citations


We estimated total ecosystem respiration from a ponderosa pine (Pinus ponderosa Dougl. ex Laws.) plantation in the Sierra Nevada Mountains near Georgetown, California, from June to October, 1998. We apportioned ecosystem respiration among heterotrophic, root, stem and foliage based on relationships for each component that considered microclimate and vegetation characteristics. We measured each respiration component at selected sampling points, and scaled the measurements up to the ecosystem based on modeled relationships. Over the study period, total mean ecosystem respiration was 5.7 ± 1.3 μmol m-2s-1 (based on daily mean), comprising about 67% from soil-surface CO2 efflux, 10% from stem and branch respiration and 23% from foliage respiration. Shrub leaves contributed about 24% to total foliage respiration, and current-year needles (1998 age class) accounted for 40% of total tree needle respiration. Root respiration accounted for 47% of soil-surface CO2 efflux. We conclude that ecosystem respiration can be estimated based on daily mean air and soil temperatures through exponential relationships with r2 values of 0.85 and 0.87, respectively. When based on both air and soil temperatures, about 91% of the variation in total ecosystem respiration could be explained by a linear regression.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)309-318
Number of pages10
JournalTree Physiology
Issue number5
StatePublished - 2001
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Physiology
  • Plant Science


  • Leaf respiration
  • Microclimate
  • Q10
  • Soil respiration
  • Soil-surface CO efflux
  • Stem respiration

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