Biology and Fertility of Soils

, Volume 7, Issue 1, pp 67–70 | Cite as

Effect of wheat (Triticum aestivum) roots on mineralization rates of soil organic matter

  • Z. Sallih
  • P. Bottner


Two different soils were amended with 14C-labelled plant material and incubated under controlled laboratory conditions for 2 years. Half the samples were cropped with wheat (Triticum aestivum) 10 times in succession. At flowering, the wheat was harvested and the roots removed from the soil, and a new crop was started. Thus, the soil was continuously occupied by predominantly active root systems. The remaining samples were maintained without plants under the same conditions. The aim of the experiment was to study the effects of active roots on C-mineralization rates during different stages of decomposition and during long-term incubation. During the first 200 days, corresponding to the active decomposition stages, the roots weakly reduced 14C mineralization. With a lower level of decomposition, when more than 60% of the initial 14C was mineralized and when the available nutrients were markedly exhausted by plant uptake, the roots stimulated 14C mineralization.[/ p]

Key words

Root activity Soil C mineralization 14C-labelled plant material Decomposition stages Wheat Triticum aestivum 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1988

Authors and Affiliations

  • Z. Sallih
    • 1
  • P. Bottner
    • 1
  1. 1.Centre d'Etudes Phytosociologiques et EcologiquesMontpellier CedexFrance

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