Collar Properties and Measurement Time Confer Minimal Bias Overall on Annual Soil Respiration Estimates in a Global Database

  • Jinshi Jian, Christopher Gough, Debjani Sihi, Anya M. Hopple, Ben Bond‐Lamberty
  • Journal of Geophysical Research Biogeosciences, December 2020, American Geophysical Union (AGU)
  • DOI: 10.1029/2020jg006066

Measurement conditions exert relatively small effects on measurements of soil respiration

What is it about?

"Soil respiration" refers to the movement of carbon dioxide (the product of respiration, for example when humans exhale) generated by plant roots and microbes from the soil to the atmosphere. This is a large and important flow of carbon in the earth system. In particular, scientists measure soil respiration under different conditions, but how these conditions affect their estimates is not well understood. This study used a synthesis of many different results from other published results to examine whether the conditions of measurements—i.e., choices made by individual researchers—affected their soil respiration estimates, and concluded that generally they did not.

Why is it important?

If estimates of soil respiration are biased for some reason, this could strongly affect our understanding of how the earth system operates. This study is the first to examine this problem for a very large number of published results globally.


Ben Bond-Lamberty

This is an interesting example of the power of 'open data' — the underlying database used here is open to all interested users, and provides a way to synthesize many different researchers' results to generate large-scale insights and understanding.

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The following have contributed to this page: Ben Bond-Lamberty