Current issue: 53(4)
Soil respiration readings are reported for three ameliorated peatland sites of different types, covering a period of four years, during which the sites were drained and treated with various fertilizers. Respiration is shown to increase exponentially with temperature, varying mostly in the range 100–500 mg CO2 m-2 h-1. The changes in soil respiration followed those in surface temperature with a time-lag of approximately 3–3.5 hours. At one site, where the groundwater table dropped by about 0.5 m after ditching, soil respiration increased 2.5-fold within a few weeks, whereas at the other two sites both the fall in the groundwater table and the resultant changes in soil respiration were small.
The fertilizers tested were slow-dissolving PK, fast-dissolving PK, wood ash, slow-dissolving PK + urea, slow-dissolving PK + Nitroform (urea formaldehyde) and slow-dissolving PK + urea + a micro-element mixture. Application of fast-dissolving PK + urea led to a rapid increase in soil respiration at the site poorest in nutrients, and slow-dissolving PK to a slow increase in respiration. The greatest, steady increase of all was achieved by treatment with ash. At the sites with a higher natural nutrient content the application of fertilizers usually led to a decline in soil respiration lasting 1–2 years, after which the initial level was normally regained. Treatment with micro-elements caused an initial fall in soil respiration values in all three biotopes, followed by a pronounced increase.
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