To explore the effects of different tillage systems on soil respiration and root respiration under rain-fed condition. Based on a short-term experiment, this paper investigated soil respiration in summer corn growth season under four tillage treatments including subsoiling tillage (ST), no tillage (NT), rotary tillage (RT) and moldboard plow tillage (CT). The contribution of root respiration using root exclusion method was also discussed. The results showed that soil respiration rate presented a single peak trend under four tillage methods during the summer corn growing season, and the maximum value was recorded at the heading stage. The trends of soil respiration were as follows: heading stage > flowering stage > grain filling stage > maturity stage > jointing stage > seedling stage. The trends of soil respiration under different tillage systems were as follows: CT > ST > RT > NT. There was a significant correlation between soil respiration rate and soil temperatures (P < 0.05), which could explain 35%-75% variability of soil respiration using exponential function equation. However, there was no significant correlation between soil respiration rate and soil moisture. Root respiration accounted for 45.13%-56.86% of the proportion of soil respiratio n with the mean value 51.72% during the summer corn growing season under different tillage systems. Therefore, root exclusion method could be used to study the contribution of crop growth to carbon emission, to compare effects of different tillage systems on the contribution of root respiration provides the bases for selecting the measures to slow down the decomposition of soil carbon.