Examination of four methods for measuring soil respiration

Y. Bekku*, Hiroshi Koizumi, T. Oikawa, H. Iwaki

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

125 Citations (Scopus)


We compared the accuracy of four methods for measuring soil respiration: the open-flow infra-red gas analyzer method (OF-method); the closed chamber method (CC-method); the dynamic closed chamber method (DC-method); and the alkali absorption method (AA-method), using artificial soil medium (vermiculite with glucose and mineral nutrients) inoculated with Trichoderma sp. as respiring microorganisms. The CO2 emission rates from the medium were measured by the four methods once a day for 10 days. We compared the estimated amounts of glucose respired by Trichoderma sp. (EGR, an integration of measured CO2 emission rates for 10 days) with the actual amounts of glucose respired (AGR, calculated from weight loss of the medium during the same period). In the AA-method, the EGR value was 1.3 times larger than the AGR value, while in the OF-, DC-and CC-methods EGR values were almost the same as the AGR (0.95, 0.95 and 0.94 times respectively). Higher CO2 emission rates obtained by the AA-method were attributed to low CO2 concentration (20-250 μl 1-1) in the chamber, because at such low CO2 levels the respiration rate of Trichoderma sp. was enhanced by 20-70%. These results indicate that the OF-, DC-and CC-methods are more suitable for soil respiration measurement than the conventional AA-method.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)247-254
Number of pages8
JournalApplied Soil Ecology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1997 Jun
Externally publishedYes


  • CO
  • Concentration
  • Measurement method
  • Soil respiration

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Soil Science
  • Ecology


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