EPA Science Inventory

ESTIMATES OF DOUGLAS-FIR FINE ROOT PRODUCTION AND MORTALITY FROM MINIRHIZOTRONS

Citation:

Tingey, D T., D L. Phillips, M G. Johnson, P T. Rygiewicz, P A. Beedlow, AND W. E. HOGSETT. ESTIMATES OF DOUGLAS-FIR FINE ROOT PRODUCTION AND MORTALITY FROM MINIRHIZOTRONS. FOREST ECOLOGY AND MANAGEMENT. Elsevier Online, New York, NY, 204(2-3):359-370, (2005).

Description:

Minirhizotrons were used to assess the influence of soil resources on fine root (diameter < 2 mm) production, mortality, and standing crop over a two-year period. Two study sites were located, along an elevational transect, in the Oregon Cascade Mountains in mature (> 100 years old), closed-canopy Douglas-fir (Pseudotsuga menziesii (Mirb.) Franco) stands growing on soils with differing resource levels. The Low Resource Site had lower soil N (0.15 % total N) and lower (83 mm) available water capacity than the High Resource Site, where soil N was 0.25 % total N and available water capacity was 145 mm. Minirhizotron tubes were installed at each site during August 1994. To allow time for recovery from tube installation, the first root images were collected in late fall 1995 and then at ~4 week intervals thereafter, except when snow prevented sample collection at the Low Resource Site. Root data from soil cores collected near the minirhizotron tubes were used to convert the minirhizotron data to the units of g m-2 (to a depth of 60 cm). Aboveground tree growth, at the High Resource Site, was about twice that at the Low Resource Site, while fine root biomass, at the High Resource Site, was only a third of that at the Low Resource Site. Seasonally, fine root production started before the onset of bole growth. Fine root standing crop, production, and mortality were consistently higher at the Low Resource Site than at the High Resource Site. These findings are consistent with the concept that plants allocate more C to fine roots when soil resources are low. Our estimates of fine root production and mortality tend to be larger than previous reports for Douglas-fir stands. These differences can be attributed, in part, to the failure of the previous studies to account for fine root production and mortality between sampling events.

Record Details:

Record Type: DOCUMENT (JOURNAL/PEER REVIEWED JOURNAL)
Start Date: 01/17/2005
Completion Date: 01/17/2005
Record Last Revised: 12/21/2005
Record Created: 12/08/2004
Record Released: 12/08/2004
Record ID: 104922

Organization:

U.S. ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY

OFFICE OF RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT

NATIONAL HEALTH AND ENVIRONMENTAL EFFECTS RESEARCH LAB

WESTERN ECOLOGY DIVISION

IMMEDIATE OFFICE