Vegetation type plays an important role in regulating the temporal and spatial variation of soil respiration. Therefore, vegetation patchiness may cause high uncertainties in the estimates of soil respiration for scaling field measurements to ecosystem level. Few studies provide insights regarding the influence of vegetation types on soil respiration and its temperature sensitivity in an estuary wetland. In order to enhance the understanding of this issue, we focused on the growing season and investigated how the soil respiration and its temperature sensitivity are affected by the different vegetation (Phragmites australis, Suaeda salsa and bare soil) in the Yellow River Estuary. During the growing season, there were significant linear relationships between soil respiration rates and shoot and root biomass, respectively. On the diurnal timescale, daytime soil respiration was more dependent on net photosynthesis. A positive correlation between soil respiration and net photosynthesis at the Phragmites australis site was found. There were exponential correlations between soil respiration and soil temperature, and the fitted Q10 values varied among different vegetation types (1.81, 2.15 and 3.43 for Phragmites australis, Suaeda salsa and bare soil sites, respectively). During the growing season, the mean soil respiration was consistently higher at the Phragmites australis site (1.11 μmol CO 2 m-2 s-1), followed by the Suaeda salsa site (0.77 μmol CO2 m-2 s-1) and the bare soil site (0.41 μmol CO2 m-2 s-1). The mean monthly soil respiration was positively correlated with shoot and root biomass, total C, and total N among the three vegetation patches. Our results suggest that vegetation patchiness at a field scale might have a large impact on ecosystem-scale soil respiration. Therefore, it is necessary to consider the differences in vegetation types when using models to evaluate soil respiration in an estuary wetland.
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