Plant and Soil

, Volume 335, Issue 1, pp 469–478

Vertical patterns of fine root biomass, morphology and nitrogen concentration in a subalpine fir-wave forest

Authors

    • Department of Forest Site EnvironmentForestry and Forest Products Research Institute
  • Satoru Miura
    • Department of Forest Site EnvironmentForestry and Forest Products Research Institute
  • Kojiro Iwamoto
    • Tama Forest Science GardenForestry and Forest Products Research Institute
  • Shinji Kaneko
    • Department of Forest Site EnvironmentForestry and Forest Products Research Institute
  • Kenji Fukuda
    • Institute of Environmental Studies, Graduate School of Frontier SciencesThe University of Tokyo
Regular Article

DOI: 10.1007/s11104-010-0434-y

Cite this article as:
Ugawa, S., Miura, S., Iwamoto, K. et al. Plant Soil (2010) 335: 469. doi:10.1007/s11104-010-0434-y

Abstract

To clarify the nutrient acquisition strategies for below-ground resources in a subalpine Abies forest with shallow soils, we examined the vertical patterns of fine root biomass, morphology, nitrogen concentration of fine root tissue and soil chemical characteristics in nine quadrats of sapling, young and mature stands in a subalpine fir-wave forest, central Japan. The community characteristics changed with stand development, but stand development did not influence the vertical pattern of fine root characteristics. Fine root biomass decreased with soil depth. Specific root length did not differ among soil depths, and neither average diameter nor tissue density of fine roots changed vertically. The nitrogen concentration of fine roots differed significantly among soil depths, and was higher in surface soils than in deeper soils. Moreover, soil pH, soil electrical conductivity and soil nitrogen concentration were higher in surface layers than deeper layers. Therefore, we suggest that the subalpine Abies community has a nutrient acquisition strategy that allows uptake of more nutrients near the surface in shallow soils due to the larger investment in biomass and more active metabolism, but not due to phenotypic plasticity in fine root morphology. In addition, we observed that fine root biomass changed with stand development, where specific root length was greater in sapling stands than in older stands.

Keywords

Fine root biomassNitrogen concentrationSoil depthSpecific root lengthStand developmentSubalpine fir-wave forest

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2010