Infrared warming affects intrarow soil carbon dioxide efflux during vegetative growth of spring wheat

Gerard W. Wall, Jean E.T. McLain, Bruce A. Kimball, Jeffrey W. White, Michael J. Ottman, Richard L. Garcia

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


Global warming will likely affect carbon cycles in agricultural soils. Our objective was to deploy infrared (IR) warming to characterize the effect of global warming on soil temperature (Ts), volumetric soil-water content (θs), and intrarow soil CO2 efux (φs) of an open-field spring wheat (Triticum aestivum L. cv. Yecora Rojo) crop grown in the semiarid desert Southwest. A temperature free-air controlled enhancement (T-FACE) apparatus using IR heaters maintained canopy air temperature above 3.0-m plots by 1.3 and 2.7°C (0.2 and 0.3°C below the targeted set-points) during the diurnal and nocturnal periods, respectively. A randomized complete block (RCB) design with two IR warming treatments (i.e., Heated; Reference) in three replicates was planted on 10 Mar. and 1 Dec. 2008. Intrarow Ts, θs, and φs were measured from emergence (bare soil) up until inflorescence emergence (canopy closure). Under ample soil water supply with high θs, midday φs was 10% greater in Heated [4.1 μmol (CO2) m-2 s-1] compared with Reference [3.7 μmol (CO2) m-2 s-1]. In contrast, as the soil dried and θs decreased to a greater degree in Heated compared with Reference, a 10% decrease in φs occurred in Heated compared with Reference. Overall, θs had the greatest impact on φs, whereas it was responsive to Ts only under high θs Accurate predictions of global climate change effects on φs in agricultural soils require that interactive effects of Ts and θs be coupled. Infrared warming with T-FACE proved to be an effective experimental methodology to investigate these interactive effects.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)607-618
Number of pages12
JournalAgronomy Journal
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 2013

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Agronomy and Crop Science


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