Fine root dynamics and soil carbon accretion under thinned and un-thinned Cupressus lusitanica stands in, Southern Ethiopia
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Background and aims
Forest management activities influences stand nutrient budgets, belowground carbon allocation and storage in the soil. A field experiment was carried out in Southern Ethiopia to investigate the effect of thinning on fine root dynamics and associated soil carbon accretion of 6-year old C. lusitanica stands.
Fine roots (≤2 mm in diameter) were sampled seasonally to a depth of 40 cm using sequential root coring method. Fine root biomass and necromass, vertical distribution, seasonal dynamics, annual turnover and soil carbon accretion were quantified.
Fine root biomass and necromass showed vertical and temporal variations. More than 70 % of the fine root mass was concentrated in the top 20 cm soil depth. Fine root biomass showed significant seasonal variation with peaks at the end of the major rainy season and short rainy season. Thinning significantly increased fine root necromass, annual fine root production and turnover. Mean annual soil carbon accretion, through fine root necromass, in the thinned stand was 63 % higher than that in the un-thinned stand.
The temporal dynamics in fine roots is driven by the seasonality in precipitation. Thinning of C. lusitanica plantation would increase soil C accretion considerably through increased fine root necromass and turnover.
KeywordsCupressus lusitanica Fine root Production Soil carbon accretion Thinning Turnover
Diameter at Breast Height
Promising Crop Trees
Soil Organic Carbon
Mean standing fine root biomass
Analysis of Variance
This study was financially supported by Oromia Agricultural Research Institute through Adami Tulu Research Center. The authors would like to thank two anonymous reviewers for their constructive comments on the manuscript. The authors also thank Woineshet Afework for assisting in laboratory fine root processing.
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