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  1. Biogeochemical reactions occurring in soil pore space underpin gaseous emissions measured at macroscopic scales but are difficult to quantify due to their complexity and heterogeneity. We develop a volumetric-average method to calculate aerobic respiration rates analytically from soil with microscopic soil structure represented explicitly. Soil water content in the model is the result of the volumetric-average of the microscopic processes, and it is nonlinearly coupled with temperature and other factors. Since many biogeochemical reactions are driven by oxygen (O 2 ) which must overcome various resistances before reaching reactive microsites from the atmosphere, the volumetric-average results in negative feedback between temperature and soil respiration, with the magnitude of the feedback increasing with soil water content and substrate quality. Comparisons with various experiments show the model reproduces the variation of carbon dioxide emission from soils under different water content and temperature gradients, indicating that it captures the key microscopic processes underpinning soil respiration. We show that alongside thermal microbial adaptation, substrate heterogeneity and microbial turnover and carbon use efficiency, O 2 dissolution and diffusion in water associated with soil pore space is another key explanation for the attenuated temperature response of soil respiration and should be considered in developing soil organic carbon models. 
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