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Contribution of Lolium perenne rhizodeposition to carbon turnover of pasture soil

Y. Kuzyakov, A. Kretzschmar and K. Stahr
Plant and Soil
Vol. 213, No. 1/2, ORAGANIC MATTER APPLICATION AND ELEMENT TURNOVER IN DISTURBED TERRESTRIAL ECOSYSTEMS (1999), pp. 127-136
Published by: Springer
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/42950519
Page Count: 10
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Contribution of Lolium perenne rhizodeposition to carbon turnover of pasture soil
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Abstract

Carbon rhizodeposition and root respiration during eight development stages of Lolium perenne were studied on a loamy Gleyic Cambisol by ¹⁴CO₂ pulse labelling of shoots in a two compartment chamber under controlled laboratory conditions. Total ¹⁴CO₂ efflux from the soil (root respiration, microbial respiration of exudates and dead roots) in the first 8 days after ¹⁴C pulse labelling decreased during plant development from 14 to 6.5% of the total ¹⁴C input. Root respiration accounted for was between 1.5 and 6.5% while microbial respiration of easily available rhizodeposits and dead root remains were between 2 and 8% of the ¹⁴C input. Both respiration processes were found to decline during plant development, but only the decrease in root respiration was significant. The average contribution of root respiration to total ¹⁴CO₂ efflux from the soil was approximately 41%. Close correlation was found between cumulative ¹⁴CO₂ efflux from the soil and the time when maximum ¹⁴CO₂ efflux occurred (r=0.97). The average total of CO₂ efflux from the soil with Lolium perenne was approximately 21 μg C-CO₂ d⁻¹ g⁻¹. It increased slightly during plant development. The contribution of plant roots to total CO₂ efflux from the soil, calculated as the remainder from respiration of bare soil, was about 51%. The total ¹⁴C content after 8 days in the soil with roots ranged from 8.2 to 27.7% of assimilated carbon. This corresponds to an underground carbon transfer by Lolium perenne of 6-10 g C m⁻² at the beginning of the growth period and 50-65 g C m⁻² towards the end of the growth period. The conventional root washing procedure was found to be inadequate for the determination of total carbon input in the soil because 90% of the young fine roots can be lost.

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