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Root respiration data and minirhizotron observations conflict with root turnover estimates from sequential soil coring

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The turnover of fine roots in northern coniferous forests has conventionally been assumed to be rapid, in line with results from sequential coring in the late 1970s in a Swedish Scots pine stand (SWECON project) where a rate of 7.4 year-1 was estimated. New quantifications of the root respiration in other stands motivated a recalculation of the SWECON data; an indirect estimation of the turnover rate was much slower, about 2.1 year-1. As a consequence, fine-root production is considered to be much lower than in previous estimates. Furthermore, direct observations of Norway spruce fine roots (<1 mm) from minirhizotrons in Sweden, including a site close to the SWECON site, indicated a slower estimate, with fine-root turnover rate of 0.9 year-1.

Keywords: Carbon budget; longevity; minirhizotron; respiration; soil cores; turnover

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1: Department of Ecology, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Uppsala, Sweden 2: Department of Forest Products and Markets, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Uppsala, Sweden

Publication date: January 1, 2007

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