Root inclusion net method: novel approach to determine fine root production and turnover in Larix principis-rupprechtii Mayr plantation in North China


Abstract: A novel root inclusion net method was designed to determine the fine root productions and turnover rates of 13-, 22-, and 38-year-old Larix principis-rupprechtii plantations in the whole growing season of 2012, and it was compared with the results of the sequential coring method and in-growth core method. All following values are reported in order for 13-, 22-, and 38-year-old L. principis-rupprechtii plantations. The mean values of fine root biomasses were 103, 261, and 356 g m^{-2}, about 76-78% of which were live fine root biomasses. The fine root productions were 86-118 g m^{-2} year^{-1}, 124-138 g m^{-2} year^{-1}, and 134-160 g m^{-2} year^{-1}, respectively. The fine root turnover rates were 1.12, 0.61, and 0.51 times year^{-1}, respectively, suggesting a relative slow fine root turnover in L. principis-rupprechtii plantations. The carbon inputs into soil accompanying fine root turnover were 52, 58, and 94 g C m^{-2} year^{-1}. This organic carbon is a sizeable pool in the forest ecosystem. The results suggest that our new modified root inclusion net method is suitable for field-based assessment of fine root production and turnover.

Keywords: Fine root turnover, plantation, root inclusion net method, soil organic carbon

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