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FLUCTUATIONS OF THE SOIL ENVIRONMENT AND FINE ROOT GROWTH IN A YOUNG SITKA SPRUCE PLANTATION

J. D. DEANS
Plant and Soil
Vol. 52, No. 2 (JULY 1979), pp. 195-208
Published by: Springer
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/42934903
Page Count: 14
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FLUCTUATIONS OF THE SOIL ENVIRONMENT AND FINE ROOT GROWTH IN A YOUNG SITKA SPRUCE PLANTATION
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Abstract

From soil cores extracted at 5 day intervals from 3 May to 6 August it was found that the biomass of fine roots in a Sitka spruce plantation, 14 years old, fluctuated with maxima in late May and mid July. The earlier peak coincides with increasing soil temperatures during a period of high incident precipitation and the latter developed when the soil profile was rewetted. Fine root biomass and soil moisture tension (SMT) were significantly and negatively correlated in three of four soil horizons. Root mortality occurred whenever incident precipitation failed to maintain soil moisture tension near zero. In the very open pored horizons the critical SMT for root death was unexpected small, < 0.1 bars; in the peat horizons it was c 0.2 bars.

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