Publications of Marc Aubinet
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See detailImpact of grazing on carbon dioxide flux exchanges in an intensively managed grassland
Jerome, Elisabeth ULiege; Beckers, Yves ULiege; Bodson, Bernard ULiege et al

Poster (2013, September)

To date, there are few studies assessing the impact of specific management events, particularly grazing, on carbon (C) and carbon dioxide (CO2) fluxes in managed grasslands. Grazing effects are indeed ... [more ▼]

To date, there are few studies assessing the impact of specific management events, particularly grazing, on carbon (C) and carbon dioxide (CO2) fluxes in managed grasslands. Grazing effects are indeed difficult to discern. They vary with the stocking rate and the length of the grazing period. Moreover, they are often masked by environmental responses. The aim of the present study was to assess the impact of grazing on the CO2 fluxes of a grassland grazed by the Belgian Blue breed of cattle. The research was run at the Dorinne Terrestrial Observatory (DTO), located in the Belgian Condroz (50° 18’ 44’’ N; 4° 58’ 07’’ E; 248 m asl.). The site is a permanent grassland of ca. 4.2 ha subjected to intensive management. Grassland carbon budget at the system boundaries is calculated from Net Ecosystem Exchange of CO2 measured by eddy covariance by taking imports and exports of organic C and losses of carbon as methane into account. After 2 years of measurements, the site was close to equilibrium. If management practices (harvest, fertilization and imports as supplementary feedings) and climatic conditions had a significant impact on the C balance, the impact of grazing was uncertain, especially on CO2 fluxes. To do this analysis, we distinguished the long term and the short term impacts of grazing on CO2 fluxes. The long term effect results from the biomass consummation by the cattle and from the cattle effluents that modify assimilation and respiration fluxes. This could be quantified only by comparing fluxes before and after grazing periods. The short term impact is due to cattle respiration that is a part of total ecosystem respiration and should be measured in its presence in the field. For the long term effects of grazing on CO2 fluxes, we analyzed the temporal evolution of gross maximal photosynthetic capacity GPPmax and dark respiration normalized at 10°C (Rd,10). Those parameters were deduced from the response of daytime CO2 fluxes to radiation over 5-day windows. We calculated parameters variations between the beginning and the end of grazing and non-grazing periods (∆GPPmax, ∆Rd,10) and analyzed their dependence to stocking rate. We found a significant decreased of ∆GPPmax that allowed us to quantify the assimilation reduction due to grass consumption by cattle. Discrimination of this impact from flux response to climate was possible only after gathering and treating two years of measurements taken under various climatic conditions. At the opposite, no significant evolution of Rd,10 with the average stocking rate was found. The short term impacts were an increase of CO2 fluxes in presence of cattle. It could be distinguished and quantified only thanks to confinement experiments. Each experiment extended over two days: the first day, cattle was confined in the footprint of the eddy covariance set-up (1.76 ha, 27 LU ha-1) and the second day, it was removed from it. We compared filtered half-hourly data made at 24h intervals, in the presence or absence of cattle, considering that environmental conditions were equivalent (air temperature, wind speed, radiation and wind direction). Livestock contribution to CO2 fluxes was estimated to be 2.25 ± 0.68 kg C LU-1 d-1. [less ▲]

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See detailCattle methane fluxes measurement over an intensively grazed grassland using eddy covariance
Dumortier, Pierre ULiege; Aubinet, Marc ULiege; Beckers, Yves ULiege et al

Poster (2013, September)

Methane emissions account for 8% of the EU-15 GHG emissions and livestock generates approximately half of these emissions (European Commission, 2009). Recent technological advances in spectroscopy now ... [more ▼]

Methane emissions account for 8% of the EU-15 GHG emissions and livestock generates approximately half of these emissions (European Commission, 2009). Recent technological advances in spectroscopy now permit methane flux measurement using eddy covariance. This method has numerous strengths. It can measure fluxes in situ, continuously and across broad areas. This provides information about meadow and cattle emission behaviour throughout the year and across a broad range of climatic conditions. We will present here a one year monitoring of methane exchange between an intensively grazed meadow and the atmosphere obtained using the eddy-covariance method. Methane fluxes exchanged by a grazed meadow were measured continuously since June 2012 at the Dorinne Terrestrial Observatory (50˚ 18’ 44” N; 4˚ 58’ 07” E; 248 m asl.) in Belgium. The site is an intensively pastured meadow of 4.2 ha managed according to the regional common practices where up to 30 Belgian Blue cows are grazing simultaneously. Flux measurements were made with the eddy covariance technique, using a fast CH4 analyzer (Picarro G2311-f) and a sonic anemometer (Campbell Csat3). Carbon dioxide fluxes and various micro-meteorological and soil variables, biomass growth and stocking rate evolution were also measured at the site. Turbulent fluxes were calculated according to standard eddy covariance computation schemes and were filtered for non-stationarity and for low friction velocity (u*) events. During grazing periods, fluxes are dominated by the enteric fermentation source and average 111 nmol m-2 s-1. They are highly variable, probably due to cow movements in and out the measurement footprint and cow digestion rhythm. Despite this spread, a daily emission rhythm is observed with higher emissions during the afternoon. When fluxes are integrated over large periods, methane emissions were found strongly related to cattle stocking rate with a slope of 7.34±0.78 mol CH4 day-1 LSU-1. Further developments are ongoing in order to improve cattle geo-localization through infra-red cameras and individual home-made GPS devices. The two systems will be compared in terms of cost, efficiency and ease of use. During cow-free periods, the methane flux averages 10.5 nmol m-2 s-1 and is highly variable with some production peaks above 100 nmol m-2 s-1. No relation was found between methane fluxes and soil temperature while a weak negative relation was found between methane fluxes and soil humidity. No soil methane absorption has been observed. European Commission. Fifth National Communication from the European Community Under the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). Technical Report - 2009 – 038 (2009). [less ▲]

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See detailLong term measurements of VOC exchanges above a maize field at Lonzée (Belgium)
Bachy, Aurélie ULiege; Aubinet, Marc ULiege; SALERNO, Giovanni ULiege et al

Poster (2013, June 10)

For the last decades, VOC had arisen scientifict interest due to their important role in the atmospheric chemistry and their final impact on air pollution and climate change. Terrestrial ecosystems being ... [more ▼]

For the last decades, VOC had arisen scientifict interest due to their important role in the atmospheric chemistry and their final impact on air pollution and climate change. Terrestrial ecosystems being the main VOC source, evaluation of current and future biogenic VOC emissions through VOC exchange modeling is thus necessary to better estimate future climate and assess future air pollution risks. BVOC exchanges depend on edaphic variables and are plant species specific. Therefore, their modeling and global budget evaluation requires a comprehensive understanding of production and exchange dynamics under a wide panel of climatic conditions and ecosystems, which necesserily implies BVOC exchange measurements under varied conditions. In that perspective, forest and non pastured grasslands have been largely studied for the last decade, but knowledge about BVOC fluxes from croplands remains still scarce. As a consequence, crop species-specific standard emissions that feed bottom-up BVOC emission models are still often assigned to a default value that is in addition kept constant for the entire growth season, although recent research has shown that plant phenology, acclimation and stress can drastically influence BVOC emissions. To help filling this knowledge gap, we run a project that aims to study VOC fluxes from two major croplands, maize (2nd most important culture worldwide) and winter wheat (1st most important culture worldwide), and a pastured grassland. We present here a specific study focussing on the VOC exchanges between a maize field and the atmosphere. VOC fluxes were measured at ecosystem-scale during the whole 2012 growing season using the eddy covariance by mass-scaning technique with a proton-transfer-reaction mass spectrometer. Together with VOC fluxes, we also recorded a wide set of ancillary data including CO2 fluxes, meteorological variables and biomass evolution. As far as we know, we are the first study dealing with BVOC measurements on maize at ecosystem scale and spanning all the phenological stages of the crop. Although first results show half-hourly bidirectionnal exchanges among all the preselected compounds, in average methanol is the greatest emitted VOC, followed by green leaf volatiles. Acetic acid and acetaldehyde are the greatest taken up VOC. Small isoprene and monoterpene fluxes are also observed. A diurnal pattern is found for all those VOC, with greater emission/uptake during the day, suggesting a flux dependence on environmental parameters. Influence of environmental controls, biomass evolution (including growth primary production) and phenology on fluxes is currently under investigation. Our research allows to quantify BVOC exchanges by a maize field throughout a whole growing season. Hence, obtained results will refine the understanding of the BVOC exchanges mechanisms by including both environmental and phenological parameters. Such results are expected to be very useful for BVOC modeling, especially for oxygenated compounds such as methanol. [less ▲]

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See detailImpact of grazing on carbon balance of an intensively grazed grassland in Belgium
Jerome, Elisabeth ULiege; Beckers, Yves ULiege; Beekkerk van Ruth, Jöran ULiege et al

Poster (2013, April 09)

This work analyzes the impact of grazing on the carbon balance of a grassland grazed by the Belgian Blue breed of cattle. The research was run at the Dorinne terrestrial observatory (DTO). The ... [more ▼]

This work analyzes the impact of grazing on the carbon balance of a grassland grazed by the Belgian Blue breed of cattle. The research was run at the Dorinne terrestrial observatory (DTO). The experimental site is a permanent grassland of ca. 4.2 ha located in the Belgian Condroz (50° 18’ 44’’ N; 4° 58’ 07’’ E; 248 m asl.). Other studies are conducted at the DTO including measurements of methane (CH4) and nitrous oxide fluxes (Dumortier et al., Geophysical Research Abstracts, Vol. 15, EGU2013-2083-1, 2013; Beekkerk van Ruth et al., Geophysical Research Abstracts, Vol. 15, EGU2013-3211, 2013, respectively). Grassland carbon budget (Net Biome Productivity, NBP) was calculated from Net Ecosystem Exchange (NEE) measured by eddy covariance by taking imports and exports of organic C and losses of carbon as CH4 into account (Soussana et al., 2010). After 2 years of measurements (May 2010 - May 2012), the grassland behaved on average as a CO2 source (NEE = 73 ±31 g C m-2 y-1). After inclusion of all the C inputs and outputs the site was closed to equilibrium (NBP = 23 ±34 g C m-2 y-1). To analyze the impact of grazing on CO2 fluxes, we studied the temporal evolution of gross maximal photosynthetic capacity GPPmax and dark respiration Rd (deduced from the response of daytime fluxes to radiation over 5-day windows). We calculated GPPmax and Rd variation between the end and the beginning of grazing or non-grazing periods (∆GPPmax and ∆Rd, respectively). We observed a significant decrease of GPPmax during grazing periods and measured a ∆GPPmax dependence on the average stocking rate. This allows us to quantify the assimilation reduction due to grass consumption by cattle. On the contrary, no Rd decrease was observed during grazing periods. Moreover, we found that cumulated monthly NEE increased significantly with the average stocking rate. In addition, a confinement experiment was carried out in order to analyze livestock contribution to Total Ecosystem Respiration. Each experiment extended over two days: the first day, cattle was confined in the footprint of the eddy covariance set-up (1.76 ha, 27 LU ha-1) and the second day, it was removed from it. We compared filtered half-hourly data made at 24h intervals, in the presence or absence of cattle, considering that environmental conditions were equivalent (air temperature, wind speed, radiation and wind direction). Results showed that CO2 fluxes were significantly higher when cattle were on the plot. Livestock contribution estimation to CO2 fluxes was on average 6.6 µmol m-2 s-1. [less ▲]

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See detailTemporal variability of nitrous oxide fluxes from a fertilized grassland in Belgium: preliminary results from dynamic closed chambers.
Beekkerk van Ruth, Jöran ULiege; Moureaux, Christine ULiege; Degré, Aurore ULiege et al

Poster (2013, April 09)

Presentation of preliminary results from N2O measurements over a grassland using dynamic closed chambers. See attached folders for more detail.

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See detailModeling soil respiration in wheat fields
Delogu, Emilie; Le Dantec, Valérie; Mordelet, Patrick et al

Poster (2013, April 09)

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See detailSoil respiration partitioning and its components in the total agro-ecosystem respiration
Delogu, Emilie; Le Dantec, Valérie; Mordelet, Patrick et al

Poster (2013, April 09)

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See detailFifty years of contrasted residue management of an agricultural crop: impacts on the soil carbon budget and on heterotrophic respiration.
Buysse, Pauline ULiege; Roisin, Christian; Aubinet, Marc ULiege

in Agriculture, Ecosystems & Environment (2013), 167

Crop management exerts a strong influence on the soil carbon (C) balance. This study investigated a long-term experiment initiated in 1959 at a site in the Hesbaye region of Belgium and focused on three ... [more ▼]

Crop management exerts a strong influence on the soil carbon (C) balance. This study investigated a long-term experiment initiated in 1959 at a site in the Hesbaye region of Belgium and focused on three contrasted treatments: residue export (RE), farmyard manure (FYM) addition and residue restitution (RR) after harvest. The objectives were to quantify the components of the C budget of croplands from a 50-year perspective and to identify the impact of the treatments on this budget and soil C sequestration, given the relatively low levels of esidue application. The soil C budget was calculated for each treatment on the basis of total soil organic C (SOC) content measurements and C input data collected since the experiment had begun and drawn from the literature. To evaluate the robustness of this approach, the budget-based output estimates were compared with annual heterotrophic respiration (HR) averages extrapolated from seasonal field HR measurements carried out at the same experimental site in 2010. The soil C budgetbased output estimates accorded well with field-based HR measurements and with most HR estimates in the literature, suggesting that, despite the many uncertainties affecting the soil C budget, these results were robust. The three treatments investigated in this study had different impacts on SOC stocks, mainly during the first 20 years of the experiment. RE and FYM caused significant SOC decreases (on average, −7 ± 5 g C m−2 year−1 over the 50 years) and increases (10 ± 5 g C m−2 year−1), espectively, whereas RR had no significant impact on the SOC stocks. The study also showed (i) the very large part (about twothirds of the total input) that represented the below-ground input, weeds and other left-over residues in the C budget, (ii) the important role probably played by residue quality in C sequestration and (iii) the large proportion of C lost annually rom the soil (which represents 93–98, 100 and 102–107% of the amounts of fresh residue rought to the soil each year in the FYM, RR and RE treatments, respectively). [less ▲]

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See detailShort-term temperature impact on soil heterotrophic respiration in limed agricultural soil samples
Buysse, Pauline ULiege; Goffin, Stéphanie ULiege; Carnol, Monique ULiege et al

in Biogeochemistry (2013), 112(1-3), 441-455

This study sought to investigate the hourly and daily timescale responses of soil CO2 fluxes to temperature in a limed agricultural soil. Observations from different incubation experiments were compared ... [more ▼]

This study sought to investigate the hourly and daily timescale responses of soil CO2 fluxes to temperature in a limed agricultural soil. Observations from different incubation experiments were compared with the results of a model combining biotic (heterotrophic respiration) and abiotic (carbonate weathering) components. Several samples were pre-incubated for 8-9 days at three temperatures (5, 15 and 25°C) and then submitted to short-term temperature cycles (where the temperature was increased from 5 to 35°C in 10°C stages, with each stage being 3 h long). During the temperature cycles (hourly timescale), the soil CO2 fluxes increased significantly with temperature under all pre-incubation temperature treatments. A hysteresis effect and negative fluxes during cooling phases were also systematically observed. At a given hourly timescale temperature, there was a negative relationship of the CO2 fluxes with the pre-incubation temperature. Using the combined model allowed the experimental results to be clearly described, including the negative fluxes and the hysteresis effect, showing the potentially large contribution of abiotic fluxes to total fluxes in limed soils, after short-term temperature changes. The fairly good agreement between the measured and simulated flux results also suggested that the biotic flux temperature sensitivity was probably unaffected by timescale (hourly or daily) or pre-incubation temperature. The negative relationship of the CO2 fluxes with the pre-incubation temperature probably derived from very labile soil carbon depletion, as shown in the simulations. This was not, however, confirmed by soil carbon measurements, which leaves open the possibility of adaptation within the microbial community. [less ▲]

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See detail10. Environnement et gaz à effet de serre
Moureaux, Christine ULiege; Aubinet, Marc ULiege; Bodson, Bernard ULiege

in Bodson, Bernard; Destain, Jean-Pierre (Eds.) Livre Blanc - Céréales (2013, February 27)

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See detailLong term measurements of volatile organic compounds exchanges above a maize field at Lonzee (Belgium)
Bachy, Aurélie ULiege; Aubinet, Marc ULiege; SALERNO, Giovanni ULiege et al

in Communications in Agricultural and Applied Biological Sciences (2013, February), 78(1), 127-132

VOC (volatile organic compounds) include a wide set of molecules which are mostly emitted by the plants. Atmospheric scientists are strongly interested in these compounds because of their important role ... [more ▼]

VOC (volatile organic compounds) include a wide set of molecules which are mostly emitted by the plants. Atmospheric scientists are strongly interested in these compounds because of their important role in the atmospheric chemistry and their final impact on air pollution and climate change. Evaluation of current and future VOC emissions is thus necessary and requires a comprehensive understanding of VOC production and exchange dynamics under a wide panel of climatic conditions and ecosystems. Forest and non pastured grasslands have been largely studied for the last decade. However, knowledge about VOC fluxes from croplands remains scarce. Our study focuses on the VOC exchanges between a maize field and the atmosphere. It is incorporated in a wider project that aims to study VOC fluxes from two croplands (maize and winter wheat) and a pastured grassland. VOC fluxes have been measured on a maize field during the whole growing season using a micrometeorological method (eddy covariance). While first results show half-hourly bidirectionnal exchanges among all the preselected compounds, in average methanol stands for the greatest emitted VOC, followed by green leaf volatiles, and acetic acid is the greatest taken up VOC. Small isoprene and monoterpenes fluxes are also observed. A diurnal pattern is found for all those VOC, with greater emission/uptake during the day, suggesting a flux dependence on environmental parameters. These environmental controls will be further investigated [less ▲]

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See detailInitiation of methane turbulent flux measurements over a grazed grassland in Belgium
Dumortier, Pierre ULiege; Aubinet, Marc ULiege; Chopin, Henri ULiege et al

in Geophysical Research Abstracts (2013), 15

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See detailStockage de carbone et flux de gaz à effet de serre en prairie (synthèse bibliographique)
Jerome, Elisabeth ULiege; Beckers, Yves ULiege; Bodson, Bernard ULiege et al

in Biotechnologie, Agronomie, Société et Environnement = Biotechnology, Agronomy, Society and Environment [=BASE] (2013), 17(1), 103-117

Grassland carbon (C) sequestration can play an important role in mitigating total greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions of livestock production systems. An accurate inventory of livestock production system ... [more ▼]

Grassland carbon (C) sequestration can play an important role in mitigating total greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions of livestock production systems. An accurate inventory of livestock production system contribution to GHG emissions requires to think in terms of global budget, by considering both the GHG sources and the mitigation potential trough grassland soil carbon sequestration. There is a huge variability in C and GHG balances of grasslands that is mainly due to management practices and climatic conditions. The present article shows that, to reduce the uncertainties of the results, long term measurements at the field scale are necessary. Also, it shows the importance of taking the fluxes of the three main GHGs (carbon dioxide, nitrous oxide, methane) into account when calculating the GHG budget. This article also highlights the need for a better understanding of the mechanisms driving the fluxes, in relation to environmental factors and management practices, in order to propose mitigation strategies able to enhance soil carbon sequestration in soils and to reduce methane and nitrous oxide emissions. [less ▲]

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See detailCurrent net ecosystem exchange of CO2 in a young mixed forest: any heritage from the previous ecosystem?
Violette, Aurélie ULiege; Heinesch, Bernard ULiege; Erpicum, Michel ULiege et al

Poster (2013)

For 15 years, networks of flux towers have been developed to determine accurate carbon balance with the eddy-covariance method and determine if forests are sink or source of carbon. However, for ... [more ▼]

For 15 years, networks of flux towers have been developed to determine accurate carbon balance with the eddy-covariance method and determine if forests are sink or source of carbon. However, for prediction of the evolution of carbon cycle and climate, major uncertainties remain on the ecosystem respiration (Reco, which includes the respiration of above ground part of trees, roots respiration and mineralization of the soil organic matter), the gross primary productivity (GPP) and their difference, the net ecosystem exchange (NEE) of forests. These uncertainties are consequences of spatial and inter-annual variability, driven by previous and current climatic conditions, as well as by the particular history of the site (management, diseases, etc.). In this study we focus on the carbon cycle in two mixed forests in the Belgian Ardennes. The first site, Vielsalm, is a mature stand mostly composed of beeches (Fagus sylvatica) and douglas fir (Pseudotsuga menziesii) from 80 to 100 years old. The second site, La Robinette, was covered before 1995 with spruces. After an important windfall and a clear cutting, the site was replanted, between 1995 and 2000, with spruces (Piceas abies) and deciduous species (mostly Betula pendula, Aulnus glutinosa and Salix aurita). The challenge here is to highlight how initial conditions can influence the current behavior of the carbon cycle in a growing stand compared to a mature one, where initial conditions are supposed to be forgotten. A modeling approach suits particularly well for sensitivity tests and estimation of the temporal lag between an event and the ecosystem response. We use the forest ecosystem model ASPECTS (Rasse et al., Ecological Modelling 141, 35-52, 2001). This model predicts long-term forest growth by calculating, over time, hourly NEE. It was developed and already validated on the Vielsalm forest. Modelling results are confronted to eddy-covariance data on both sites from 2006 to 2011. The main difference between both sites seems to rely on soil respiration, which is probably partly a heritage of the previous ecosystem at the young forest site. [less ▲]

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See detailIdentification of bacteria community associated with earthworm gut
Lemtiri, Aboulkacem ULiege; Alabi, Taofic; Bodson, Bernard ULiege et al

Poster (2012, July 26)

The role of earthworms in soil fertility and transformation of organic waste was regulary cited to be of first importance. Associated to these macro-invertebrates, a large diversity of micro-orgnisms are ... [more ▼]

The role of earthworms in soil fertility and transformation of organic waste was regulary cited to be of first importance. Associated to these macro-invertebrates, a large diversity of micro-orgnisms are found indirectly in their closed environment or directly in their gut. Functional aspects of these interactions and symbiosis in relation with soil characteristics and fertility rates are poorly developed. Here, the micro-organisms diversity and potential related functions of earthworm gut were investigated using a proteiomic approach for both protein and micro-organism identifications. Microbial community investigation was detected by proteomic approach based on bidimensional electrophoresis coupled with mass spectrometry using Matrix Assisted Laser Desorption Ionisation – time of flight (Maldi-Tof). Diversity of gut associated bacterial communities was discussed. Indeed, application of particular crop production practices such as crop residue management at the field level could regulate the gut bacterial communities in earthworm but also microbials in soils. Agricultural systems had to consider the microbial and associated organisms in the soil to enhance fertlility and crop production in sustainable ways. [less ▲]

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See detailSoil carbon budget of a 50-year residue management experiment in a Belgian cropland.
Buysse, Pauline ULiege; Roisin, Christian; Aubinet, Marc ULiege

Conference (2012, July 06)

Within the context of Climate Change, crop management exerts a strong influence on the soil carbon (C) balance. This study aims (1) to estimate the C loss by soil heterotrophic respiration (SHR) in ... [more ▼]

Within the context of Climate Change, crop management exerts a strong influence on the soil carbon (C) balance. This study aims (1) to estimate the C loss by soil heterotrophic respiration (SHR) in different residue management treatments through the establishment of their soil C budgets and (2) to compare these estimations with field SHR measurements. Three contrasted treatments were considered: Residue Export (RE), Farm Yard Manure addition (FYM) and Residue Restitution after harvest (RR). They were established in 1959 and continuously applied since then at an experimental field located in the Hesbaye region in Belgium. The soil C budget was calculated for each treatment on the basis of total soil organic C content measurements and C input data compiled since the beginning of the experiment. This allowed estimating the C loss by SHR in the different treatments. SHR measurements were performed in 2010 and 2011 to compare them with the budget-based estimations and to assess SHR sensitivity to temperature in the different treatments. The soil C budgets showed that the soil under the RR treatment was likely to undergo the biggest C loss by SHR since the beginning of the experiment. The SHR field measurements, performed 50 years after the experiment had begun, did however not show any significant difference between the SHR rates in the three treatments. Laboratory investigations (microbial biomass, basal respiration, metabolic diversity and soil fractionation) will be performed to better understand the effects of long-term residue management on soil C dynamics. [less ▲]

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