Contrasting effects of long-term acid rain simulation on temperature sensitivity of soil respiration and enzymatic activities in a subtropical forest

  • Shutao ChenEmail author
  • Lu Sun
  • Xu Zhang
  • Xiaoshuai Shen
  • Yifan Liu
  • Jingquan Ren
Soils, Sec 4 • Ecotoxicology • Research Article



The purpose of this study was to investigate the long-term effects of acid rain simulation (ARS) on soil respiration (Rs) components and enzymatic activities.

Materials and methods

An 8-year field ARS experiment was conducted in a subtropical forest. A trenching method was used to partition Rs into heterotrophic respiration (Rh) and autotrophic respiration (Ra). Soil urease, invertase, and catalase activities were measured after long-term ARS application.

Results and discussion

The repeated-measures ANOVA indicated that there was no significant (P > 0.05) difference in annual mean Rs (or Rh) between SAR plots from March 2016 to February 2018. Rs was significantly (P < 0.001) higher than Rh for each specific ARS treatment across the 2 years. There were no significant (P > 0.05) differences in Q10 of Rs (or Rh) between ARS treatments, indicating that the ARS effect on Q10 was not significant. ARS induced a decline in soil urease activity in both untrenched and trenched plots on most measurement dates. The soil invertase and catalase activities were significantly (P < 0.05) reduced by ARS manipulation but had temporal variations. Long-term ARS did not significantly change Rs in the untrenched plots or Rh in the trenched plots in this subtropical forest ecosystem.


Compared with soil respiration, which is a process involving more biological groups, soil enzymes were more vulnerable to the long-term ARS.


Acid rain simulation (ARS) Catalase Heterotrophic respiration (RhInvertase Soil respiration (RsUrease 


Funding information

This study was sponsored by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (NSFC 41775151) and the Six Talent Peaks Project in Jiangsu Province (2015-NY-012).

Supplementary material

11368_2019_2385_MOESM1_ESM.docx (479 kb)
ESM 1 (DOCX 479 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Collaborative Innovation Center of Atmospheric Environment and Equipment TechnologyNanjing University of Information Science and TechnologyNanjingChina
  2. 2.School of Applied MeteorologyNanjing University of Information Science and TechnologyNanjingChina

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