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Estimating fine root longevity in a temperate Norway spruce forest using three independent methods

Title data

Gaul, Dirk ; Hertel, Dietrich ; Leuschner, Christoph:
Estimating fine root longevity in a temperate Norway spruce forest using three independent methods.
In: Functional Plant Biology. Vol. 36 (2009) Issue 1 . - pp. 11-19.
ISSN 1445-4416
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1071/FP08195

Abstract in another language

The importance of root systems for C cycling depends crucially on fine root longevity. We investigated mean values for fine root longevity with root diameter, root C/N ratio and soil depth using radiocarbon (14C) analyses in a temperate Norway spruce [Picea abies (L.) Karst.] forest. In addition, we applied sequential soil coring and minirhizotron observations to estimate fine root longevity in the organic layer of the same stand. The mean radiocarbon age of C in fine roots increased with depth from 5 years in the organic layer to 13 years in 40–60 cm mineral soil depth. Similarly, the C/N ratios of fine root samples were lowest in the organic layer with a mean value of 24 and increased with soil depth. Roots >0.5 mm in diameter tended to live longer than those being <0.5 mm in diameter. By far the strongest variability in fine root longevity estimates was due to the chosen method of investigation, with radiocarbon analyses yielding much higher estimates (5.4 years) than sequential soil coring (0.9 years) and minirhizotron observations (0.7 years). We conclude that sequential soil coring and minirhizotron observations are likely to underestimate mean fine root longevity, and radiocarbon analyses may lead to an overestimation of mean root longevity.Keywords: fine root diameter, minirhizotrons, radiocarbon, root C/N ratio, root turnover, sequential coring.

Further data

Item Type: Article in a journal
Refereed: Yes
Additional notes: BAYCEER63346
Institutions of the University: Research Institutions > Research Centres > Bayreuth Center of Ecology and Environmental Research- BayCEER
Research Institutions
Research Institutions > Research Centres
Result of work at the UBT: Yes
DDC Subjects: 500 Science
Date Deposited: 07 Aug 2015 06:59
Last Modified: 07 Aug 2015 06:59
URI: https://eref.uni-bayreuth.de/id/eprint/17725