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Journal Article

ERRATUM: Fine-root mass, growth and nitrogen content for six tropical tree species

Oscar J. Valverde-Barrantes, James W. Raich and Ann E. Russell
Plant and Soil
Vol. 320, No. 1/2 (July 2009), pp. 333-334
Published by: Springer
Stable URL:
Page Count: 2

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Topics: Species, Biomass, Plants, Soil science, Tropical soils, Plantations, Forest soils, Annuals, Lowlands
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Although fine roots might account for 50% of the annual net primary productivity in moist tropical forests, there are relatively few studies of fine-root dynamics in this biome. We examined fine-root distributions, mass, growth and tissue N and C concentrations for six tree species established in 16-year-old plantations in the Caribbean lowlands of Costa Rica in a randomized-block design (n=4). The study included five native species (Hyeronima alchorneoides, Pentaclethra macroloba, Virola koschnyi, Vochysia ferruginea and Vochysia guatemalensis) and one exotic (Pinns patula). Under all species >60% of the total fine-root mass to one meter deep was located in the uppermost 15 cm of the soil. Fine-root live biomass and necromass (i.e., the mass of dead fine roots) varied significantly among species but only within the uppermost 15 cm, with biomass values ranging from 182 gm-2 in Pin us to 433 gm-2 in Hyeronima plots, and necromass ranging from 48 gm-2 in Pinus to 183 gm-2 in Virola plots. Root growth, measured using ingrowth cores, differed significantly among species, ranging from 261 gm-2 yr-1 in Pinus to 891 gm-2 yr-1 in Hyeronima. Turnover rates of fine root biomass ranged from 1.09 to 2.03 yr-1 in Virola and Hyeronima plots respectively. Fine-root biomass was significantly and positively correlated with fine-root growth (r=0.79, P<0.0001), but did not correlate with fine-root turnover (r=0.10; P=0.20), suggesting that fine-root accumulation is a function of growth rate rather than mortality. Fine-root longevity was not correlated (r=0.20, P=0.34) and growth was negatively correlated with root N concentration across species (r=-0.78, P<0.0001), contrary to reported trends for leaves, perhaps because N was relatively abundant at this site.

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