BOKU - Universität für Bodenkultur Wien - Forschungsinformationssystem

Logo BOKU-Forschungsportal

Gewählte Publikation:

Jentschke, G; Drexhage, M; Fritz, HW; Fritz, E; Schella, B; Lee, DH; Gruber, F; Heimann, J; Kuhr, M; Schmidt, J; Schmidt, S; Zimmermann, R; Godbold, DL.
(2001): Does soil acidity reduce subsoil rooting in Norway spruce (Picea abies)?
PLANT SOIL. 2001; 237(1): 91-108. FullText FullText_BOKU

Increasing evidence suggests that forest soils in central and northern Europe as well as in North America have been significantly acidified by acid deposition during the last decades. The present investigation was undertaken to examine the effect of soil acidity on rooting patterns of 40-year-old Norway spruce trees by comparing fine and coarse roots among four stands which differed in soil acidity and Mg (and Ca) nutrition. The coarse root systems of four to five 40-year-old Norway spruce trees per stand were manually excavated. The sum of cross sectional area (CSA) at 60 cm soil depth and below of all vertical coarse roots, as a measure of vertical rooting intensity, was strongly reduced with increasing subsoil acidity of the stands. This pattern was confirmed when 5 additional acidic sites were included in the analysis. Fine root biomass in the mineral soil estimated by repeated soil coring was strongly reduced in the heavily acidified stands, but increased in the humic layer. Using ingrowth cores and a screen technique, we showed that the higher root biomass in the humic layer of the more acidic stands was a result of higher root production. Thus, reduced fine root biomass and coarse root CSA in deeper soil layers coincided with increased root growth in the humic layer. Root mineral analysis showed Ca/Al ratios decreased with decreasing base saturation in the deeper mineral soil (20-40 cm). In the top mineral soil, only minor differences were observed among stands. In general, low Ca/Al ratios coincided with low fine root biomass. Calcium/aluminum ratios determined in cortical cell walls using X-ray microanalysis showed a similar pattern as Ca/Al ratios based on analysis of whole fine roots, although the amplitude of changes among the stands was much greater. Aluminum concentrations and Ca/Al ratios in cortical cell walls were at levels found to inhibit root growth of spruce seedlings in laboratory experiments. The data support the idea that Al (or Ca/Al ratios) and acid deposition-induced Mg (and possibly Ca) deficiency are important factors influencing root growth and distribution in acidic forest soils. Changes in carbon partitioning within the root system may contribute to a reduction in deep root growth.
Autor*innen der BOKU Wien:
Godbold Douglas L.
BOKU Gendermonitor:

Find related publications in this database (Keywords)
Picea abies
root growth
soil acidity
X-ray microanalysis

© BOKU Wien Impressum