Soil carbon dynamics of terrestrial ecosystems play a significant role in the global carbon cycle. Microbial-based decomposition models have seen much growth recently for quantifying this role, yet dormancy as a common strategy used by microorganisms has not usually been represented and tested in these models against field observations. Here we developed an explicit microbial-enzyme decomposition model and examined model performance with and without representation of microbial dormancy at six temperate forest sites of different forest types. We then extrapolated the model to global temperate forest ecosystems to investigate biogeochemical controls on soil heterotrophic respiration and microbial dormancy dynamics at different temporal-spatial scales. The dormancy model consistently produced better match with field-observed heterotrophic soil CO2 efflux (RH) than the no dormancy model. Our regional modeling results further indicated that models with dormancy were able to produce more realistic magnitude of microbial biomass (

Citation

He, Y., J. Yang, Q. Zhuang, J.W. Harden, A.D. McGuire, Y. Liu, G. Wang, L. Gu. 2016. Incorporating microbial dormancy dynamics into soil decomposition models to improve quantification of soil carbon dynamics of northern temperate forests. Journal of Geophysical Research - Biogeosciences. 120: 2596-2611. http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/2015JG003130/full. DOI: doi: 10.1002/2015JG003130.