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Organic Matter and Nutrients Associated with Fine Root Turnover in a White Oak Stand

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Organic matter and nutrients cycled by fine root turnover were quantified in a mature white oak (Quercus alba L.) stand and compared to contributions from litterfall. The budget method, a revised version of the traditional repeated sampling method, was used to measure root turnover. The magnitude of the live and dead pools of three size classes of fine (<5 mm diameter) roots were monitored bimonthly for 14 months. Decomposition rates over these intervals were also measured, while production and mortality were calculated. Litterfall was collected simultaneously, and the nutrient concentrations of the various detritus components determined. Root pools fluctuated less, and total root turnover biomass (220 g m -2 yr-1) was also less than previously noted in most other stands studied. Fine root turnover accounted for 30% of the total detritus production and 20-40% of the turnover of the five macronutrients (N, P. K, Ca, Mg) studied. Differences with previous studies suggest that there may be rather large species and/or site-related differences in the amount of energy various stands allocate for fine root maintenance. For. Sci. 33(2):330-346.

Keywords: Quercus alba; budget method; root decomposition; root mortality; root production

Document Type: Journal Article

Affiliations: Professor, School of Forestry, Fisheries and Wildlife, 1-31 Agriculture Building, University of Missouri, Columbia

Publication date: 1987-06-01

More about this publication?
  • Forest Science is a peer-reviewed journal publishing fundamental and applied research that explores all aspects of natural and social sciences as they apply to the function and management of the forested ecosystems of the world. Topics include silviculture, forest management, biometrics, economics, entomology & pathology, fire & fuels management, forest ecology, genetics & tree improvement, geospatial technologies, harvesting & utilization, landscape ecology, operations research, forest policy, physiology, recreation, social sciences, soils & hydrology, and wildlife management.
    Forest Science is published bimonthly in February, April, June, August, October, and December.

    2015 Impact Factor: 1.702
    Ranking: 16 of 66 in forestry

    Average time from submission to first decision: 62.5 days*
    June 1, 2016 to Feb. 28, 2017

    Also published by SAF:
    Journal of Forestry
    Other SAF Publications
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