Canadian Forest Service Publications

Age-related changes in survival and turnover rates of balsam fir (Abies balsamea (L.) Mill.) fine roots. 2018. Krasowski, M.J.; Lavigne, M.B.; Szuter, M.; Olesinski, J.; Kershaw, J.A. Jr.; McGarrigle, E. Tree Physiology 38: 865-876.

Year: 2018

Issued by: Atlantic Forestry Centre

Catalog ID: 39643

Language: English

Availability: PDF (download)

Available from the Journal's Web site.
DOI: 10.1093/treephys/tpy010

† This site may require a fee

Mark record

Plain Language Summary

The distribution of annual growth among tree components and their turnover rates have many important implications for ecosystem functioning. Comparatively less is known about production and turnover of fine roots because of the effort required for their measurement. Using data collected over 10 years at 6 balsam fir sites, we found fine roots lived longer at mature sites than at young sites. We hypothesize this occurs because a larger proportion of the population of fine roots in mature stands serve a transport function primarily, and transport fine roots are longer-lived. In contrast, root systems are expanding to fill available space in young stands, and as a result a larger proportion of the population of fine roots are short-lived, absorptive roots. Recognition of two subpopulations of fine roots, differing in function and longevity implies that allocation to annual fine root production may be less after roots systems are expanded to fully occupy the site and this may affect the course of carbon sequestration during stand development.