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Relationships between specific root length and respiration rate of fine roots across stands and seasons in Chamaecyparis obtusa

Abstract

Aims

Fine root respiration (R r ) is closely linked with fine root morphology, especially with specific root length (SRL), in short-term measurements in some tree species. However, whether these relationships are also valid across different stands and seasons is not yet known. This study aimed to investigate these relationships in the fine roots of Chamaecyparis obtusa.

Methods

The R r , mean root diameter, and SRL of fine root segments of two C. obtusa stands were determined every three months over two years.

Results

We detected significant positive correlations between R r and SRL of fine root segments across the stands over two years. The relationship of R r with SRL was stronger than that with the mean diameter of fine roots. The slopes and intercepts for the R r and SRL relationships did not differ among stands and measurement times. Further, we proposed a simple approach for estimating CO2 flux from fine roots at the stand level based on SRL and confirmed that the ranges of estimated CO2 values were comparable with those of values reported using the conventional approach.

Conclusions

The fine root morphology typified by SRL is a key variable in R r of fine roots and CO2 flux at the stand level.

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Abbreviations

ABC:

Acid buffering capacity

D:

Diameter

N:

Nitrogen

R r :

Root respiration

R r SRL :

R r normalized with SRL

R r T :

R r normalized with the mean root temperature

SRL:

Specific root length

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Acknowledgments

We thank the editor and two reviewers for giving constructive comments, and M. Takano, Y. Yamaguchi, S. Nagano, M. Mushiake, K. Ichikawa (Nagoya University), C Todo (Hyogo Prefectural Technology Center for Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries), and M. Ohashi (University of Hyogo) for their valuable suggestions and assistance in field work and laboratory analyses. We also thank S. Amano, S. Suzuki (Okazaki municipal office), T. Hakamata (Shizuoka Prefectural Research Institute of Agriculture and Forestry), and the Tenryuu District Forest Office for permission to use the forest health-monitoring survey sites of the Forestry Agency of Japan.

Funding

This study was partially funded by JSPS KAKENHI (Grant number, 15H04519).

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Correspondence to Yasuhiro Hirano.

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The authors declare that they have no conflicts of interest.

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Responsible Editor: Honghua He

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Miyatani, K., Tanikawa, T., Makita, N. et al. Relationships between specific root length and respiration rate of fine roots across stands and seasons in Chamaecyparis obtusa . Plant Soil 423, 215–227 (2018). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11104-017-3499-z

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s11104-017-3499-z

Keywords

  • Mean root diameter
  • Root CO2 efflux
  • Root temperature
  • Soil nitrogen
  • Very fine root