The structural complexity, especially canopy and gap structure, of old-growth forests affects the spatial variation of soil respiration (Rs). Without considering this variation, the upscaling of Rs from field measurements to the forest site will be biased. The present study examined responses of Rs to soil temperature (Ts) and water content (W) in canopy and gap areas, developed the best fit model of Rs and used the unique spatial patterns of Rs and crown closure to upscale chamber measurements to the site scale in an old-growth beech-oak forest. Rs increased with an increase in Ts in both gap and canopy areas, but the effect of W on Rs was different between the two areas. The generalized linear model (GLM) analysis identified that an empirical model of Rs with the coupling of Ts and W was better than an exponential model of Rs with only Ts. Moreover, because of different responses of Rs to W between canopy and gap areas, it was necessary to estimate Rs in these areas separately. Consequently, combining the spatial patterns of Rs and the crown closure could allow upscaling of Rs from chamber-based measurements to the whole site in the present study.
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