Ten years of warming increased plant-derived carbon accumulation in an East Asian monsoon forest

Jing Zhang, Luhui Kuang, Zhijian Mou, Toshiaki Kondo, Jun Koarashi, Mariko Atarashi-Andoh, Yue Li, Xuli Tang, Ying-Ping Wang, Josep Penuelas, Jordi Sardans, Dafeng Hui, Hans Lambers, Wenjia Wu, Joeri Kaal, Jian Li, Naishen Liang, Zhanfeng Liu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


Aims Soil warming significantly influences soil organic carbon (SOC) pools in terrestrial ecosystems through its impact on the processes of carbon (C) input and decomposition as well as the stabilization of SOC pools. Most studies demonstrated that soil warming reduces SOC pools, but the magnitude is highly variable, and the underlying mechanisms are poorly understood. Methods The concentration, stability (dissolved, particulate, and mineral-associated SOC) and source (plant-derived vs. microbial-derived) of SOC, soil microbial community composition, and enzymatic activities were studied in a 10-year soil warming field experiment in an East Asian monsoon forest. Results 10-year soil warming significantly enhanced SOC in the top 0-10 cm soil. The increased SOC induced by warming was mainly derived from plants, with lignin and phenol markers increasing by 60% on average, accompanied by a 27% decrease in microbial-derived SOC. However, the overall effect of warming on SOC stability was not statistically significant. Conclusions The results suggest that the moist monsoon forest soil could sequester SOC upon long-term warming. The discrepancy between our findings and those from other regions highlights an urgent need for a better understanding of how the contrasting effects of plant- and microbial-derived C mediate the response of the SOC pool to warming across biomes.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)349-365
Number of pages17
JournalPlant and Soil
Issue number1-2
Early online date12 Aug 2022
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2022


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