Soil CO2 production seasonality at a number of depths was investigated in a temperate forest in Japan and in a tropical montane forest in Thailand. The CO2 production rates were evaluated by examining differences in the estimated soil CO2 flux at adjacent depths. The temperate forest had clear temperature seasonality and only slight rainfall seasonality, whereas the tropical montane forest showed clear rainfall seasonality and only slight temperature seasonality. In the temperate forest, the pattern of seasonal variation in soil respiration was similar at all depths, except the deepest (0.65 m-), and respiration was greater in summer and less in winter. The contribution of the shallowest depth (around 0.1 m) was more than 50% of total soil-surface CO2 flux all year round, and the annual mean contribution was about 75%. CO2 production mostly appeared to increase with temperature in shallower layers. In contrast, in the tropical forest, soil CO2 production seasonality appeared to differ with depth. The CO2 production rate in the shallowest layer was high during the rainy season and low during the dry season. Soil CO2 production at greater depths (0.4 and 0.5 m-) showed the opposite seasonality to that in the shallower layer (around 0.1 m). As a result, the contribution from the shallow depth was greatest in the tropical forest during the rainy season (more than 90%), whereas it decreased during the dry season (about 50%). CO 2 production appeared to be controlled by soil water at all depths, and the different ranges of water saturation seemed to cause the difference in seasonality at each depth. Our results suggest the importance of considering the vertical distribution of soil processes, particularly in areas where soil water is a dominant controller of soil respiration.
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