Spatial patterns of fine root biomass and performances of understory dwarf bamboo and trees along with the gradient of soil N availability in broad-leaved natural forests and larch plantation

Takuo Hishi, Naoaki Tashiro, Yuka Maeda, Rieko Urakawa, Hideaki Shibata

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

5 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The importance of fine roots in forest ecosystem processes is well known. However, the contribution of understory vegetation to underground ecosystem processes is not well understood. We tested the hypothesis that fine-root biomass (FRB) and performance of the overstory and understory independently de-crease with increasing soil N availability in cool-temperate deciduous broad-leaved natural forests and larch plantations in Japan. The mean contribution of understory FRB to total FRB (tree + understory) ranged from 4% to 78% (mean 37%). Tree FRB was negatively correlated with understory FRB, and understory FRB was dominant to tree FRB in infertile soil. Understory and total FRB were negatively correlated with soil net N mineralization rate, whereas tree FRB showed a quadratic relationship with soil N mineralization rate with the peak observed at mineralization of 58.4 kg N ha−1 y−1. The low tree FRB at infertile sites may be due to a below-ground competitive effect of understory fine roots on tree FRB. Understory fine-root nitrogen concentration (FRN) and leaf to fine-root (L/FR) ratio were positively correlated with N minerali-zation rate. However, tree L/FR was not significantly correlated, whereas tree FRN was positively correlated, with soil N mineralization rate, suggesting that the leaf production effi-ciency of trees might not increase even on infertile soil. We suggest that belowground processes of overstory trees might change depending on understory vegetation, and that understory vegetation might affect the fine roots of overstory trees, which did not increase mass allocation but increased N use efficiency under low FRN.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)85-94
Number of pages10
JournalPlant Root
Volume9
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Dec 31 2015

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Larix
Bamboo
bamboos
Biomass
understory
Soil
plantations
Availability
Soils
biomass
soil
mineralization
overstory
Ecosystems
Ecosystem
fine roots
Forests
vegetation
leaves
Japan

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Agronomy and Crop Science
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Plant Science

Cite this

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title = "Spatial patterns of fine root biomass and performances of understory dwarf bamboo and trees along with the gradient of soil N availability in broad-leaved natural forests and larch plantation",
abstract = "The importance of fine roots in forest ecosystem processes is well known. However, the contribution of understory vegetation to underground ecosystem processes is not well understood. We tested the hypothesis that fine-root biomass (FRB) and performance of the overstory and understory independently de-crease with increasing soil N availability in cool-temperate deciduous broad-leaved natural forests and larch plantations in Japan. The mean contribution of understory FRB to total FRB (tree + understory) ranged from 4{\%} to 78{\%} (mean 37{\%}). Tree FRB was negatively correlated with understory FRB, and understory FRB was dominant to tree FRB in infertile soil. Understory and total FRB were negatively correlated with soil net N mineralization rate, whereas tree FRB showed a quadratic relationship with soil N mineralization rate with the peak observed at mineralization of 58.4 kg N ha−1 y−1. The low tree FRB at infertile sites may be due to a below-ground competitive effect of understory fine roots on tree FRB. Understory fine-root nitrogen concentration (FRN) and leaf to fine-root (L/FR) ratio were positively correlated with N minerali-zation rate. However, tree L/FR was not significantly correlated, whereas tree FRN was positively correlated, with soil N mineralization rate, suggesting that the leaf production effi-ciency of trees might not increase even on infertile soil. We suggest that belowground processes of overstory trees might change depending on understory vegetation, and that understory vegetation might affect the fine roots of overstory trees, which did not increase mass allocation but increased N use efficiency under low FRN.",
author = "Takuo Hishi and Naoaki Tashiro and Yuka Maeda and Rieko Urakawa and Hideaki Shibata",
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T1 - Spatial patterns of fine root biomass and performances of understory dwarf bamboo and trees along with the gradient of soil N availability in broad-leaved natural forests and larch plantation

AU - Hishi, Takuo

AU - Tashiro, Naoaki

AU - Maeda, Yuka

AU - Urakawa, Rieko

AU - Shibata, Hideaki

PY - 2015/12/31

Y1 - 2015/12/31

N2 - The importance of fine roots in forest ecosystem processes is well known. However, the contribution of understory vegetation to underground ecosystem processes is not well understood. We tested the hypothesis that fine-root biomass (FRB) and performance of the overstory and understory independently de-crease with increasing soil N availability in cool-temperate deciduous broad-leaved natural forests and larch plantations in Japan. The mean contribution of understory FRB to total FRB (tree + understory) ranged from 4% to 78% (mean 37%). Tree FRB was negatively correlated with understory FRB, and understory FRB was dominant to tree FRB in infertile soil. Understory and total FRB were negatively correlated with soil net N mineralization rate, whereas tree FRB showed a quadratic relationship with soil N mineralization rate with the peak observed at mineralization of 58.4 kg N ha−1 y−1. The low tree FRB at infertile sites may be due to a below-ground competitive effect of understory fine roots on tree FRB. Understory fine-root nitrogen concentration (FRN) and leaf to fine-root (L/FR) ratio were positively correlated with N minerali-zation rate. However, tree L/FR was not significantly correlated, whereas tree FRN was positively correlated, with soil N mineralization rate, suggesting that the leaf production effi-ciency of trees might not increase even on infertile soil. We suggest that belowground processes of overstory trees might change depending on understory vegetation, and that understory vegetation might affect the fine roots of overstory trees, which did not increase mass allocation but increased N use efficiency under low FRN.

AB - The importance of fine roots in forest ecosystem processes is well known. However, the contribution of understory vegetation to underground ecosystem processes is not well understood. We tested the hypothesis that fine-root biomass (FRB) and performance of the overstory and understory independently de-crease with increasing soil N availability in cool-temperate deciduous broad-leaved natural forests and larch plantations in Japan. The mean contribution of understory FRB to total FRB (tree + understory) ranged from 4% to 78% (mean 37%). Tree FRB was negatively correlated with understory FRB, and understory FRB was dominant to tree FRB in infertile soil. Understory and total FRB were negatively correlated with soil net N mineralization rate, whereas tree FRB showed a quadratic relationship with soil N mineralization rate with the peak observed at mineralization of 58.4 kg N ha−1 y−1. The low tree FRB at infertile sites may be due to a below-ground competitive effect of understory fine roots on tree FRB. Understory fine-root nitrogen concentration (FRN) and leaf to fine-root (L/FR) ratio were positively correlated with N minerali-zation rate. However, tree L/FR was not significantly correlated, whereas tree FRN was positively correlated, with soil N mineralization rate, suggesting that the leaf production effi-ciency of trees might not increase even on infertile soil. We suggest that belowground processes of overstory trees might change depending on understory vegetation, and that understory vegetation might affect the fine roots of overstory trees, which did not increase mass allocation but increased N use efficiency under low FRN.

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